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Goats (2012)

R | | Comedy | 10 August 2012 (USA)
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As Ellis prepares to leave Tucson for his freshman year at an East Coast prep school, he also faces separating from his flaky, new age mother and the only real father he has ever known: Goat Man.

Director:

Christopher Neil

Writers:

Mark Poirier (novel), Mark Poirier (screenplay)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Duchovny ... Goat Man
Vera Farmiga ... Wendy
Graham Phillips ... Ellis Whitman
Justin Kirk ... Bennet
Keri Russell ... Judy
Anthony Anderson ... Coach
Dakota Johnson ... Minnie
Adelaide Kane ... Aubrey
Ty Burrell ... Frank Whitman
Nicholas Lobue ... Barney
Ronnie Rubalcaba Ronnie Rubalcaba ... Rosenberg
Alan Ruck ... Dr. Eldridge
Tommee May ... Fiona
Musashi Alexander Musashi Alexander ... Mr. Lin
Ana Auther ... Lilly
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Storyline

Fifteen-year-old Ellis is getting ready to leave his luxurious home in the foothills of Tucson for his freshman year at Gates Academy, an East Coast prep school. This means leaving behind Wendy, his flaky, new age mother and the only real father he has ever known, Goat Man. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You can't choose your family...or can you?

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug content including teen drug and alcohol use, language, sexuality and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 August 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Capre See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In Mark Poirier's original screenplay of Goats (2012), the lead character played by Graham Phillips searches for a special Christmas gift for his friend "The Goat Man" played by David Duchovny. In a scene at Smash Records in Washington DC. he finds the gift , and it's a cd of The Squids "4 Floors Of Whores - The Squids Collection" In the original script Graham Phillips line is something like "Oh wow, The Squids 4 Floors Of Whores cd, I can't find it anywhere on the internet." He holds it up and buys it and later in the movie gives it to The Goat Man. See more »

Goofs

On the check written to Gates Academy, Tucson is misspelled "Tuscon". See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ellis Whitman: Goat Man took me on my first trek when I was eleven. Not long after that he taught me how to do bong hits. It doesn't matter where we go on these treks, we just wander. Goat Man says it's the journey that counts, which I know is cliche. In a few days I leave for the prep school my father went to. Goat Man's calling this my farewell trek. He says I should suck up as much of the Sonoran sun as I can, but he's the one doing most of the soaking.
Goat Man: Whew! You won't have all this at Gates ...
[...]
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User Reviews

 
A quirky comedy turns into a coming-of-age dramedy and gets a little lost on the way
8 September 2012 | by napierslogsSee all my reviews

What starts out as a silly comedy quickly descends into a fairly average coming-of-age dramedy. But after reading an interview with the director, "Goats" is very clearly a coming-of-age dramedy; it's just the marketers that would like to pretend that it's a quirky comedy – usually an easier sell for indies. The change in genre is both good and bad news for the audience.

We are first introduced to Ellis (Graham Phillips) as he's living with his mother, Wendy (Vera Farmiga), a new age hippie, and Goat Man (David Duchovny) a step-father-like figure, on a sprawling desert farm. Goat Man smokes weed and makes goat treks – whatever those are. His mother talks in nonsense philosophical quips as she comes up with more and more ways to become one with nature.

It's a relief when Ellis goes off to prep school because those early comedy stylings could only go so far. In prep school, Ellis clearly doesn't really know normal. He doesn't get along with his roommate and he keeps expecting Goat Man to send him marijuana in the mail. He's at the school because of his father's money and name, but thinks of his father as some worthless jerk who left him and his mother.

While the film isn't really going anywhere, the characterizations are good. I wasn't really sure what the film was trying to say, but one thing that I picked up on is that no matter how different people may be, they are all selfish. Hippies are just as selfish as those that are rich and privileged. His mother expects Ellis to come home for Thanksgiving even though she won't answer the phone or return his calls. So Ellis decides to spend the holiday with his father who is just as insufferable as he thought.

His father, Frank, is played by Ty Burrell in a very good, dramatic role. When we meet Frank, we also meet his new, younger wife, Judy (Keri Russell). She's the nicest character in the movie, and is the spark for the expected eventual outcome.

The acting is good, in particular Graham Phillips as our young hero. Ellis is pretty bland, but Phillips infuses as much warmth and charisma into him as possible. We don't mind following Ellis to prep school, mostly because it would be much better than spending time with his whining, annoying, screaming mother (who is communing with nature). But like the protagonist, the movie gets a little lost when he arrives at school. The only comedy is when he calls home and Wendy's new boyfriend answers the phone, or when Wendy's new boyfriend wears a small Speedo, or when Wendy's new boyfriend throws a hissy fit with Goat Man. Did I mention that Wendy's new boyfriend is played by Justin Kirk? He's hilarious. But he's also not really important to the narrative of the film.

As I mentioned, "Goats" gets a little lost when Ellis arrives at prep school. At this point it's a coming-of-age drama, and it takes him the entire school year to arrive at the tiny bit of acceptance he was searching for.


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