Some singer/guitarist loser manages to get himself "fired" from open mic night at a café. Another artist bullies him. On his way home he sees a one-armed guy playing guitar. They talk and the loser decides to live in a room in the guy's house in exchange for cleaning up the place and feeding the aunt who lives upstairs a sandwich every day. He's also told there a stench coming from somewhere.
While in the basement he sees a hand sticking out the ground. He covers it up with a can. Next time he sees the hand, it's now the forearm too that's sticking out. The guy waters it(?).
One day he sees a gorgeous girl sitting in a tree, what else, playing guitar. She's missing a finger. He follows her and she goes into the house where he's staying. Turns out in the backyard lives some chatty guy in a tiny camper. The pretty girl is his girl friend. She befriends our loser who starts writing songs about her. Eventually she wants more with him but he feels uncomfortable being the guy with whom she cheats. By now, out of the ground in the basement isn't just an arm, but a guy's head, then his torso, then his one leg. He becomes the loser's confidant and adviser.
Eventually chatty guy suspects his girl is cheating on him but doesn't quite accuse the loser directly. And at some point, the house owner asks our loser to leave. That's too much for him.
Growing Out is a romantic musical with some dark "comedy" I guess, that eventually turns into horror. It moves at a snail's pace and is about 15-20 minutes too long for a low budget independent movie. The romantic and sexual tension is well done, in fact, the movie improves dramatically once the girl shows up. She doesn't stick around long though. Even the musical aspects are well done, even though I hate musicals. But here it's just voice and guitar and the songs are pretty good. Unfortunately, early on you can tell that this movie isn't going anywhere. And it doesn't, until perhaps the very end. The filmmakers aren't interested in creating some tension that needs to be resolved, something to build toward. Things just drag on without direction or purpose. I take it there must be something to the guy emerging from the ground, to the missing limbs, to the mysterious aunt. I just didn't care enough to interpret it. The characters are likable enough but the filmmakers gave us no reason to invest our attention in this movie. There's skill, effort, and ideas at display in this movie, but it wasn't enough.
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