24 user 41 critic

Why Stop Now? (2012)

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When a college piano prodigy tries to check his mother into rehab, he is taken hostage by her drug dealer and swept along on a wild adventure.


Phil Dorling (written for the screen by), Ron Nyswaner (written for the screen by) | 2 more credits »
1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jesse Eisenberg ... Eli Bloom
Melissa Leo ... Penny Bloom
Tracy Morgan ... Sprinkles
Emma Rayne Lyle ... Nicole Bloom
Sarah Ramos ... Chloe
Isiah Whitlock Jr. ... Black
Stephanie March ... Trish
Paul Calderon ... Eduardo
Neal Huff ... Dave Epstein
Jayce Bartok ... Nurse Mike
Harper Dill Harper Dill ... Lucy
Tanya Wright ... Lisa
Marilyn Berry Marilyn Berry ... Charlene
Luna Catarevas Luna Catarevas ... Marina
Susan Barnes Susan Barnes ... Jennifer Michaels


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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A funny thing happened on the way to rehab.


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language throughout, and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »





English | Spanish

Release Date:

17 August 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Predisposed See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,641, 19 August 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,641, 19 August 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Tracy Morgan uses a cane in this film, although it was made several years before his debilitating accident. See more »


When he's with Chloe after the Revolutionary War re-enactment, the bandages are gone from Eli's right hand, and there is no indication of any injury whatsoever. He's wearing the bandages again, though, at the audition the next day. See more »


Eli: I look like the Unabomber.
See more »

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User Reviews

A surprisingly good time (despite it's lack of promotion)!
19 February 2013 | by HellmantSee all my reviews

'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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