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Breakfast with Curtis (2012)

 -  Drama  -  June 2012 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 185 users   Metascore: 62/100
Reviews: 4 user | 10 critic | 6 from Metacritic.com

Syd is an eccentric bookseller with delusions of grandeur fueled by red wine. He caused a rift 5 years ago between his bohemian housemates and the family next door, but now tries to recruit his 14-year-old neighbor as a collaborator.

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Cast

Cast overview:
Jonah Parker ...
Curtis
Theo Green ...
Syd
David A. Parker ...
Simon
Aaron Jungels ...
Frenchy
Yvonne Parker ...
Sadie
Virginia Laffey ...
Sylvie
Adele Parker ...
Pirate
Laura Colella ...
Paola
Gideon Parker ...
Young Curtis
Tory Fair ...
The Visitor
Rachael Jungels ...
Poker Player
Yaozhu Pan ...
Poker Player
Bijan Shadravan ...
Poker Player
Luis Sossa ...
Poker Player
Sherry Romanzi ...
Phoebe
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Storyline

Over the course of a balmy east coast summer, an introverted, bespectacled teenager is brought into the strange and delightful world of his bohemian neighbors. What unfolds, against the backdrop of lush flowerbeds and overgrown vegetable patches, is a mirthful story of unlikely and rekindled friendships. But for all of its wine-soaked, pot-infused dreaminess, Breakfast is firmly rooted in reality. The rambling purple house where the action happens is writer/director/co-star Laura Colella's, and her captivating cast is composed of her very own housemates and neighbors. Despite the homespun approach and unfettered narrative, Colella's tale has a distinct vision and clear intention, one joyously devoted to the pleasure principle. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Loosely based on fiction.

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Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

June 2012 (USA)  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$2,000 (USA) (6 December 2013)

Gross:

$6,629 (USA) (20 December 2013)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood) is a fan of the film, and gave a positive pull-quote for the poster. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 2013 Film Independent Spirit Awards (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Beautifully realized
24 October 2012 | by (Vancouver, B.C.) – See all my reviews

There are many films, especially low-budget independent films, which attract our attention during festivals, only to disappear afterwards without ever being released in the theater or on DVD. A few, however, that fly under the radar become sleeper hits, finding their audience and remaining popular for years. Such indeed may be the case with the charming Breakfast with Curtis. Written and directed by Laura Colella and winner of the Best Narrative and Best Ensemble Cast Awards at the Los Angeles Film Festival, Breakfast with Curtis is the story of a young boy's "seminal" summer that reminds us that community or large group support and interaction can often produce personal growth in a quicker and more lasting way than spending years talking to a psychiatrist.

The film is set in a suburban area outside of Providence, Rhode Island in the lazy summer months in a time not specified. 14-year-old Curtis (Jonah Parker) has no issues with the world in general. It's only other people that are the problem. To say he is introspective is like saying Don Corleone has a bunch of close friends. It's true but there's a lot more to the story. Curtis is so uncommunicative that he shuns school (is home-schooled), has no friends, and rarely even looks up when his parents talk to him.

Part of the reason he is so withdrawn is a traumatic incident that happened five years ago when next door neighbor Syd (Theo Green), a long-haired free spirit type who is an online bookseller, threatened to smash in his skull for throwing stuff at his cat. These terms of endearment did nothing to bring Curtis or his parents, dad Simon (David Parker) and mom Sylvie (Virginia Laffey) close to their neighbors and the hurt has been festering since then. The neighbors in this case are the communal-minded occupants of the three-story Victorian house next door to Curtis, known as the "Purple Citadel." They are, in fact, the director's actual friends and neighbors who have never acted before.

They include Syd's girlfriend, Pirate (Adele Parker) an artist who looks out for an older woman, Sadie (Yvonne Parker), who lives upstairs, Frenchy (Aaron Jungels) and Paola (Colella) who live on the third floor and spend a lot of time smoking pot and making love. In real life, they are teachers, artists, and software engineers. It's a fantasy, of course, but it would be nice if all of our neighbors could display such camaraderie and pleasure together, (without all the drinks and pot perhaps). The rapprochement with the neighbors starts taking shape when Syd, hearing that Curtis is good with computers, cautiously asks him to assist in a video project to further his online business, shooting tapes of Syd talking into the camera about himself and posting it on YouTube.

After much reluctance, Curtis agrees to help him and startling changes begin to take place in the young boy's life. Breakfast with Curtis has been called "unfocused," "amateurish," "plotless," "thin," and worse. It is probably all of the above (except for the "worse"), but what these critics leave out is that it is also a beautifully realized, touching, warm, funny, and downright lovely film and that Parker delivers the kind of commanding performance that only the best child actors can reach. Even grouches like myself will go home whistling.


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