Dispatched from his basement room on an errand for his widowed mother, slacker Jeff might discover his destiny (finally) when he spends the day with his unhappily married brother as he tracks his possibly adulterous wife.
In order to gain influence over their North Carolina district, two CEOs seize an opportunity to oust long-term congressman Cam Brady by putting up a rival candidate. Their man: naive Marty Huggins, director of the local Tourism Center.
After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own.
David O. Russell
Robert De Niro
Pete and Debbie are both about to turn 40, their kids hate each other, both of their businesses are failing, they're on the verge of losing their house, and their relationship is threatening to fall apart.
The story of Eli Smith (Jesse Eisenberg), a piano prodigy, dealing with his troubled mother, Penny (Melissa Leo), and enlisting help from a hapless drug dealer, Sprinkles (Tracy Morgan), on the day he has an audition for a prestigious music program. Events spiral comically out of control as this gang of misfits faces the mistakes of the past, the challenges of the future, and the possibilities of love. Written by
ICM Press Release
Full of comedic mishaps but strikes a decent balance of drama and comedy
"Why Stop Now" asks the question how far would you go to get into rehab? Eli (Jesse Eisenberg) is a smart kid, a piano prodigy, and is desperate to get his mother into rehab. His mother (Melissa Leo) is an annoying, high-strung coke-addict who has to go to rehab now or else Eli will never get to live his own life. The various plot descriptions available all get the rehab misunderstanding wrong, but it doesn't matter, it's ridiculous either way.
Presumably a comedy, the movie goes to great lengths to create a story full of comedic mishaps. Most of them, especially the rehab misunderstanding, aren't funny enough and belong in a worse movie. Because the thing is this movie could be more aptly described as a bittersweet drama-comedy and the travails that Eli has to go through are actually pretty touching.
Jesse Eisenberg is a really good actor. Prior to "The Social Network" (2010), I didn't really believe he was good (probably because of unfair superficial assumptions placed on him), but he may very well have mastered the drama-comedy balance. The script goes to extremes in manufacturing obstacles and misplaced hilarity. Melissa Leo takes on those extremes with her high-pitched self-righteous prattle and we wish she was locked in rehab at the very beginning. Tracy Morgan, surprisingly, plays his role more subdued than he has probably ever been before and the result is a drug dealer that doesn't produce any laughs.
Eisenberg is able to make a couple of scenes very funny. In one, he acts as a Spanish translator for one drug dealer to another and finds an amusing balance between his book smarts and street smarts. In a later scene, he explains the difference between a pain in the ass and a pretentious pain in the ass to two high-strung screaming sisters. I'm thankful when he raises his voice to get them to shut-up.
The mostly classical music score provides an interesting juxtaposition to the drug-fuelled comedy, but I'm not sure who "Why Stop Now" is supposed to appeal to. It doesn't have the same energy and comedy that popular releases "Horrible Bosses" and "21 Jump Street" have. But the bittersweet journey and the accomplishments by one actor in particular makes this a somewhat enjoyable and, thankfully, short ride.
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