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After viewing this I was shocked at the current rating of just 3.7/10.
I'm sure it will start to climb up from that over time. I was never a
fan of Jesse Eisenberg but he did a decent job with this. I admit the
script could have been better and a few scenes could have used a
re-shoot, but in the end the project deserves a decent review so I'm
giving it one.
The story involves a struggling drug addicted mother Penny portrayed by Melissa Leo, her young daughter Nicole and her college age son Eli(Eisenberg). It begins with Eli beginning what proved to be a very ruff day for him, his plan being to drop off mom at rehab and head to a piano audition for a prestigious music school. Simple enough, but when mom finds out the rehab won't accept her because of a clean urine, her & Eli are sent off on a mission for drugs to get her a positive drug screen to get her accepted. Again the simple becomes complicated as her drug supplier Sprinkles played by Tracy Morgan is all out & Eli & his mom are sent out on a mission with Sprinkles & his brother Black to secure his resupply.
I guess it's fair to say this was a feel good movie of sorts. Don't expect to be ROTFLOL, although it does have it's funny moments. Every character involved has their flaws but overall they are decent people. Please don't dismiss this as junk from the rating, yes I doubt the film will be winning any awards & there certainly wasn't any Oscar worthy performances but it does have redeeming qualities. I was glad I watched it(and I'm normally not a fan of Eisenburg or Morgan)so I recommend giving it a shot. It is at least worthy of a 7/10
Well, there are so many movies out there you can so easily do without.
That however doesn't mean that some of them are still being some good
and fun ones to watch, of which this movie is a perfect example!
Most people will probably never see this movie, also mostly because this movie is being a low-key and independent production. But really, that doesn't mean that this movie isn't worth checking out. It's nothing to run out for but I see this as a perfect movie to watch on a rainy afternoon or as a way to kill some time with. It's well made, occasionally funny but above all things it's being a very light movie to watch, making this movie easy to digest and simply pleasant to watch, despite of some of its main dramatic themes.
That's probably the reason why I enjoyed watching this movie; it never gets an heavy or too serious one. It manages to find a pleasant balance between its drama and comedy elements, by mostly inserting comedic ingredients and oddball characters.
The setup of the movie is very simple, when things slowly are spiraling down for a young piano student, played by Jesse Eisenberg. He gets in more and more trouble with his family when simply trying to take his mother to a rehab clinic. It's fun to watch the situations he gets in, as he meets more and more people along his way.
It's really a movie that is mostly being carried by its characters and the actors who are portraying them. It might seem like an odd choice for Oscar nominated and winning actors such as Jesse Eisenberg and Melissa Leo to be in this little film but I can definitely see why they wanted to be in it. It's simply being a true actor's movie, in which they are truly able to shine, without having the pressure of a big budget and high expectations and Hollywood producers constantly breathing down their necks.
I'm only taking off a point on its rating because of its sudden ending. Things didn't really felt wrapped up, at least not to me it didn't. The ending pretty much came out of the blue and I wish they did something more with it.
Not a must-see in any way but it's simply a movie to have some good time with!
i kept overlooking this movie because one of it's stars is tracy
morgan. never thought he was funny, never! and as this film is marketed
as a 'comedy' surely the morgan character would not be funny to me.
turns out not to be the case. he doesn't play a funny role!
first, this story is not a comedy!!! second, it's a drama with moments of levity. third, why it is listed as comedy is a mystery to me.
the struggle of the main character 'eli' to follow his piano playing dream, control his out of control mother, and trying to bring some level of normal life to his sister is the theme of this movie. eli has his own problems, but between his domestic obligations and his academic quest he has little time to address them.
what we get is a mere look at what he must do in 24 hours if he is to remain sane and true to himself and take advantage of a great opportunity to start a career as am accomplished piano player.
this movie may have it's weak moments but i doubt anyone can clearly point them out. i became very wrapped up in the eli character and his suffering with his mother and her 'supplier' friends, dealing with 'family', and becoming attached to a girl who obviously cares for him.
this movie is well worth watching! but please do not expect a barrel of comic laughs. if you approach it expecting that you will be disappointed and end up missing a very well performed story.
"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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Jesse Eisenberg's performance in "Why Stop Now" is a compromise between
his roles in "The Social Network" and "30 Minutes or Less." In the
former, he played a dramatized version of Mark Zuckerberg, a young man
whose focus was so narrow and intense that Asperger's was certainly
within the realm of possibility. In the latter, he played a panicked
pizza delivery man forced into robbing a bank with a bomb strapped to
his chest. His character in "Why Stop Now" is a piano prodigy who, in
the course of one day, is faced with sending his mother to rehab,
getting roped into being a drug dealer's personal translator, dealing
with his little sister's habit of talking through a sock puppet, and
mentally preparing himself for an audition that may get him into a
prestigious music academy. He also realizes that he's in love with one
of his classmates, and so he must work up to courage to admit it to
On the surface, this sounds like the recipe for a zany slapstick comedy. There are indeed some very funny moments, many of them physical in nature, and yet never once does the humor overshadow the story's innate humanity. We see a great deal of it in Eisenberg's performance; his character, named Eli Bloom, is clearly under a lot of stress, and there are times when he loses his temper in sheer frustration, but he still manages to work through each situation. He does this even when he believes he isn't capable, and more importantly, when he has convinced himself that he has messed things up beyond repair. This isn't to suggest that he isn't flawed or in danger of falling into the same traps his mother fell into. His first major scene shows him getting drunk at a party he wasn't invited to; we eventually learn that this has been a weekend habit of his for quite some time.
The story proper begins the morning Eli drives his mother, a drug addict named Penny (Melissa Leo), to rehab. Despite being a user, the urine sample she provides is clean; that, coupled with the fact that she doesn't have medical insurance, prevents her from being admitted, a turn of events Eli wasn't prepared for and is clearly not happy with. He's scheduled to give a piano recital in a matter of hours, and if all goes well, it may pave the way for his future in music. The only way Penny can commit herself, according to a discrete nurse, is for her to arrive under the influence. Panicked but determined to get his mother the help she so desperately needs, he agrees to meet with her dealer and get her a stash of cocaine. This is obviously something that happens more in the movies than in real life, but you've got to give writers/directors Phil Dorling and Ron Nyswaner credit for their understanding of irony.
In due time, Eli meets the crippled, tough-talking Sprinkle (Tracy Morgan) and his partner in crime, Black (Isiah Whitlock, Jr.), both of whom live with Sprinkle's elderly mother. When Eli inadvertently reveals that he's fluent in Spanish, an initially straightforward transaction becomes complicated; Sprinkle needs a translator in order to conduct business with his supplier, who either doesn't know a word of English or refuses to communicate in it. This is something of a plot hole, given the fact that Sprinkle appears to have thus far conducted business just fine without the aid of a translator. Or perhaps this Spanish-speaking supplier is new. The details are sketchy at best. Whatever the case, a brief confrontation at the supplier's restaurant results in Eli getting his hand injured, seriously jeopardizing his chances of doing well at the recital assuming he can make it there on time.
As the leads wait for the supplier to deliver the cocaine, other mishaps threaten to derail Eli. He will, for one thing, get loopy on Oxycontin. Not much later, he has to contend with his baby sister, Nicole (Emma Rayne Lyle), who's having behavior problems in school; not only is she too emotionally reliant on a sock puppet, she uses it as an excuse to say mean things to people. Later still, he must work to find some middle ground for Penny and her sister, Trish (Stephanie March) to stand on. Although they have chosen different life paths, the two are surprisingly similar as far as temperament and stubbornness are concerned. Whereas Penny is known for her lying, manipulation, and false promises, Trish is pretentious, judgmental, and self-righteous. And yet, we're made to see the decency in both women, especially in Penny, who may not have her act together but truly does want the best for her children.
There's a subplot involving Eli's love interest, a young woman named Chloe (Sarah Ramos), who's part of a Revolutionary War reenactment society. Although the scenes between Eisenberg and Ramos are competently written and performed, they're by far the most unnecessary and manufactured of the film. I also found myself questioning the ending, the structure of which indicates a lack of consensus on the part of the directors. It starts off rather tidy, perhaps too much so, only to finish on an unsatisfying note of ambiguity. "Why Stop Now" is a flawed film, but its examination of the Eisenberg character is fascinating, and I found myself drawn on some level to most of the other characters, who aren't as clear cut as they appear to be. Even the trash-talking Sprinkle isn't beyond all hope. How would you feel if you had a future in running, only to injure your leg and spend the rest of your life walking with a cane?
-- Chris Pandolfi (www.atatheaternearyou.net)
"You're telling me to go out and get high so that I can get into rehab?" Eli (Eisenberg) has his life worked out. He has an audition to get into an elite music school, he wants his mother (Leo) to get into rehab so she can take care of his sister without him worrying. Once she is out and sober he can leave and not worry. They only problem is that his mom's test came back clean, so they need to get her high in order for her to get into rehab...sounds easy. First off this movie is not bad and it is a comedy, but not really a laugh out loud comedy. The idea itself is pretty funny and the writing is pretty clever. Jesse Eisenberg is turning into an actor who plays the same character over and over, but he is good at playing this type of kid. The movie overall is nothing special but it is entertaining and if you are looking for a mindless movie to put in and enjoy then this is a decent choice. Overall, nothing special but still a pretty good comedy that is entertaining. I give it a B.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This was one of those little gems that come around every now and then.
Why Stop Now tells the story of a young man auditioning for a music
conservatory, but before that he has to check his mother into rehab. In
order for that to happen, though, she needs dirty urine. When the two
have a run in with his mother's drug dealer, he kidnaps them for the
day so he can obtain drugs from a Spanish speaking supplier (the son
speaks fluent Spanish). Everything that ensues afterwords leads the
group down a hilarious and sometimes dramatic road.
The writing in this film is very sharp and original. The characters are written beautifully, and The actors really go to different places with them. This film is fresh, original, and carries a heavy heart. Tracy Morgan gives his best performance yet as Sprinkles, an ex high school runner who got injured, so he entered The drug dealing world with his business partner, Black.
This is a must see, everyone check it out. Perfect dramedy.
'WHY STOP NOW': Four Stars (Out of Five)
Jesse Eisenberg, Melissa Leo and Tracy Morgan star in this comedy-drama film about family love and addiction. It was written and directed by freshman feature filmmakers Phil Dorling and Ron Nyswaner and is adapted from their 2008 short film 'PREDISPOSED' (which also featured Melissa Leo in the same role). It tells the story of a piano prodigy trying to get his drug dependant mother the help she needs and move on with his life. He ends up at odds with her former drug dealer who he also ends up helping. The film is well written and acted and is a surprisingly good time (despite it's lack of promotion).
Eisenberg plays Eli Bloom, a very talented piano prodigy who works as a supermarket clerk and lives with his drug addicted mother, Penny (Leo), and kid sister Nicole (Emma Rayne Lyle). Eli has been helping his mom out with Nicole and not pursued his own ambitions so when an audition to get into a well respected music conservatory comes up he jumps at the opportunity to take it and move on with his life. First he wants to get his mother the help she needs though and schedules her an appointment at a local rehab for drug abuse. Eli has a weekend drinking problem himself (which is something I can relate to) and gets trashed the night before his audition, embarrassing himself in front of the girl he likes (Sarah Ramos). His mother is rejected from the rehab center as well due to the fact that she pisses clean and has no insurance. A nurse (Jayce Bartok) informs her if she gets high and pisses dirty he can admit her so Eli and Penny go to Penny's drug dealer 'Sprinkles' (Morgan) for drugs and Eli ends up helping him translate with his supplier (Paul Calderon) in order to get the drugs they need.
The film had a limited theatrical run last August before being dumped on video with little to no publicity. Having seen the film now I have a hard time understanding why. I was expecting a poorly executed dumb comedy but instead found it extremely enjoyable. Eisenberg is one of my favorite actors and he doesn't disappoint here. He's relatable, funny and gives the film the right amount of heart that it needs. Melissa Leo is always good as well and makes a likable yet flawed mother once again here. I'm not a fan of Tracy Morgan at all and was expecting him to ruin this film but he's likable as well. In the right role, when he's not overacting, he's actually pretty good and he's funny and likable here for a change. For me the movie was nicely directed and just hit all the right notes. I probably enjoyed it more because I had such low expectations but it is a good film.
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Funny little comedy with some meaningful dramatic moments and some
self-help ideas incorporated, "Why Stop Now" has Jesse Eisenberg
playing Eli, a piano prodigy who's struggling to enter into a great
music school (which he can get it by performing at an audition) and
many problems to solve at home, one them is to take his mother (Melissa
Leo) to a rehabilitation clinic to cure her drug addiction. However,
when she's rejected there due to her results came back negative from
drug use, Eli will find a way to put her in there even if it takes to
meet her messy drug suppliers (Tracy Morgan and Isiah Whitlock Jr.) and
join them in a bizarre journey and a very unlikely friendship between
Kind of a funny story yet a very strange proposition the directors and writers are making to us. The whole thing involving Eli trying to put his mom in the hospital in such a hurried and problematic way would work better in a dramatic piece; in here, it almost gets controversial, not comical and it slows the film a little. But it manages to stay positive and be positive, anyway. It's more about being just a barrel of laughters, it has a purpose. It's a story about taking chances, doing some changes in the game and be focused in what you really want. The characters are all driven to those things, into rebuilding the moment in which they are to become better individuals. Sounds corny but it doesn't look all that, and there's plenty of humored moments to fill in the middle of those helpful parts. I think this could be said of this film: it's a group therapy located out of a rehabilitation center and with plenty of craziness in the between "sessions".
Worths giving a try more because of the stars in it than the plot itself (this story made a few years ago would be great; now it's almost too much clichéd). Morgan makes almost his usual routine in terms of comedy except he has some good dramatic scenes; Whitlock was good, given a few good lines here and there, nothing like his priceless character in "Cedar Rapids"; and the best in the show are Leo and Eisenberg, mostly Jesse, who not only is the funniest on scene (thankfully to a lot of cussing moments and his fast delivery speech which always works nicely) but also he seems to be quite a skillful piano player, executing marvelous pieces.
Not amusing as it could and should be, or greatly bright in its serious issues, "Why Stop Now" is a fun picture, very handy these days when all you see is special effects thrown at you and no character development whatsoever. There's life in this. 8/10
The three lead actors all play to their strengths: Jesse Eisenberg as the gifted prodigy who must overcome his weaknesses, Tracy Morgan as the off-kilter small town drug dealer who succumbed to his, and best, Melissa Leo as a druggie mom trying (and not trying) to keep her self and her family together. The movie kind of has a Weeds meets the Station Agent vibe to it as disparate characters are thrown together and learn to get along. The weakness might be in the writing. Some scenes feel contrived as if to move along the plot, while others are great set pieces. There is a Revolutionary War re-enactors subplot that seems thrown in to give the movie some additional quirkiness (Mr. Black's Miss Muppet line is funny). Tracy Morgan throws in some good ad-libs (when he bumps up against Leo's mom is when the movie starts to hit the mark). Eisenberg can get annoying (or maybe it's just the characters he plays). All in all a good if not great little indie movie.
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