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American Animal (2011)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  14 March 2011 (USA)
4.0
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Ratings: 4.0/10 from 298 users   Metascore: 52/100
Reviews: 9 user | 29 critic | 7 from Metacritic.com

A terminally-ill man descends into madness when he learns his best friend and roommate is leaving for a new job in the morning.

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Cast

Cast overview:
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Jimmy
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James
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Blonde Angela
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Not Blonde Angela
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Storyline

Jimmy is a terminally ill young man. But from today on, he has decided that he is 'happy', and that he is no longer sick. Jimmy's roommate James is a healthy, dreamy young man. They're best friends. They live together. They don't do much of anything, and seem very happy that way. But trouble arises when James announces that he will be leaving for his new job in the morning. Jimmy sees this as the destruction of the perfect little world that they've set up, and what ensues is a humorous battle of wills as James heads towards the real world and Jimmy falls deeper and deeper into his isolated world of illness and make-believe. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Some of us evolve slower than others.

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Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, graphic nudity, pervasive language and some drug use
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14 March 2011 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Netflix and iTunes versions of the film have been censored to obtain an 'R' rating from the MPAA. The original cut (which is director Matt D'Elia's original and only cut of the film) was rated 'NC-17'. D'Elia's original version is the cut that was released in theaters. As of now, the only way to view D'Elia's original version is to view the DVD, which contains the original, uncensored, NC-17 version. See more »

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User Reviews

Not sure, but gave the impression of quality; very funny at times
13 October 2014 | by See all my reviews

Jimmy and James have rich parents and live in a nice apartment in a big city. Jimmy has long hair and a beard, and he takes a lot of pills because, he says, he is dying. But he also abuses drugs that aren't prescribed for him, sleeps when he wants, acts like a maniac, does impressions of celebrities and pretty much does whatever he pleases. He even made up his own language and has told people his name isn't Jimmy any more. It's something that makes about as much sense as Prince's symbol.

James, on the other hand, tries to be responsible, though he too seems to smoke pot. He has gotten a job as a paid intern and isn't sure how Jimmy is going to take it.

Sharing their apartment is a dog named Billie who doesn't seem to do much of anything, and yet the camera focuses on Billie every now and then.

There are works of art all around the apartment, ranging from what kids would put on their parents' refrigerators to copies of the great works such as The Mona Lisa. Classical music is playing throughout most of the movie, and Jimmy pretends to conduct in at least one scene. It's not clear whether the music is really being played in most of the scenes, or if it is just the audience hearing it.

Most of the movie involves a visit from two pretty girls, both named Angela. The blonde one is a lot like Jimmy, casually dressed and carefree. The brunette one dresses like she has a clerical job in an office and seems more uptight. Yet both girls are willing to smoke pot, and both show evidence of being somewhat like we thought the other was.

The guys and the girls have fun playing games and even decorate for Christmas despite the fact it is August. A song obviously based on "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" plays, with a vocalist that sounds like Brenda Lee.

But the movie is not all fun. Eventually it gets serious, such as when Jimmy finds out the truth about James' job, and at one point Jimmy has to rant about just about everything that is wrong with the world. At some point, he does have to face the fact that he is dying. Or at least he says he is.

Is this a quality production? It sure feels like a low-budget film, and often these are some of the best. In fact, the man playing Jimmy directed and wrote it too. He does quite a good job with the impressions and the crazy behavior. Whether you have the patience to get through the more serious scenes depends on your taste in what are called "art films", which I guess this one is. It starts out as a crazy comedy, but that just can't continue.

The other actors do a good job.

The classical music does make this more pleasant than some movies which can't get along without today's hits.

I saw this on broadcast TV, but I could tell the language had been cleaned up A LOT.

Is it good? I've certainly seen worse.


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