As Cool as I Am (2013) Poster

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Starts out strongly, fell apart and ended with a whimper
myc497131 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I watched this movie thinking that this movie is actually one of those light-hearted family comedy-drama. I was pleasantly surprised that it served more... much much more.

As the plot summary already contained, this movie is the coming-of-age tale of Lucy, a smart 15-year old girl who's a product of teenage pregnancy. Her father is pretty much absent most of the year because he has to work as a lumberjack somewhere. And while he is an absentee father, he is very much committed to provide for his family. As her dad (played by James Marden) grew up in an orphanage, he has a longing to have a traditional family where the mother stays at home while the father goes away to find livelihood. Her mother, having deprived of living a single life being married at an early age, tries to live the single life ---while trying to hold on to her family --- with disastrous consequences.

The first half of the movie started out fantastic, taking its time to establish the main players in Lucy's life which is mainly her parents and her best friend since they were kids, Kenny. Contrary to one of the user reviews here, Lucy and Kenny are not "unreal". Although they were not your typical average teenagers driven by raging hormones, these type of kids exist (I would know, I'm one of them). Their belief system were mainly shaped by the family they were born in. Kenny, a product of divorced parents looks forward to a relationship that will last but is very pragmatic which pretty much stops him from going for things he really wants. Lucy, having parents who were unprepared to be parents, has to overcompensate for her parent's irresponsibility. However, as any teenager who goes through self-discovery, she eventually started exploring her sexuality and romantic relationships unguided. And as any teenager who goes through bouts of angst and anger, she also started unraveling.

All of these drew me in. Sarah Bolger, who plays Lucy, embodied the part so well that it's quite hard not to fall for her--- flaws and all. Claire Danes and James Marden, for the most part, were effective and sometimes brilliant.

However, the movie started to fell apart when it tried to do too much. And instead of focusing on one theme... it started adding in heavy sub-plots that didn't go anywhere or if it did, it didn't come to a satisfying close that will eventually support the main plot. And when you start stacking more and more, it's bound to fall apart. Not that the sub-plots were bad. Had this been a TV mini-series, it would have been more effective because these sub-plots could have been explored at length. But considering the medium, it just weighted the movie down... hard...

And it's an extreme disservice because the first half of the movie was really good. There were some well put together which showed moments of brilliance. As much as I want to remember the movie for it, I can't erase from memory the last 30 minutes and especially that ending that wasted great talents like Peter Fonda. And suddenly, the movie ends with a whimper... as if the writer just ran out of paper to write on. In coming of age movies like this one, it's important that the main characters have to come face to face with the need to evolve and move from point a to b. And although the ending somehow shows us that Lucy finds peace in surrendering to her fate. It felt abrupt and forced.

Honestly, I would give this a movie a 6/10 but the 5.5 rating is I think too low for a movie that actually showed a lot of promise. So never mind the last 30 minutes of the movie, I still fell in love with Lucy so I'm giving this a 7.
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Had potential
niobemalcolm31 August 2013
Firstly, I need to say that I enjoyed this film, I did. It held my attention and I felt satisfied afterward. Yes, it was mildly predictable in places but not annoyingly so.

What did frustrate me though was the lack of depth. A couple of other reviewers mentioned this so I'm glad I'm not alone: There were so many issues that I thought were going to be explored further and just.... weren't. Even the ending, although mildly cathartic, left me with unanswered questions.

Still, taken at face value, the film was... nice.

Hmm... I'm realizing this review is a bit 'meah'; not really negative, not really positive, but that's a direct reflection of the film's content, so sorry!
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A film about people
Breezeblocks22 August 2013
On the surface this seems like a simple, predictable film. It doesn't have a grand storyline nor does the plot build up to a single defining moment.

Essentially, this is a film about flawed characters who make flawed choices. They don't always say the right thing or solve all of their problems. They are simply human.

Danes is wonderful as the now 'grown up' teen mother, struggling with her own identity crisis as her daughter - the same age as her mother was when she was born - is too exploring her sexuality and considering her future. Bolger plays the role with enough restraint to avoid the teenager stereotype, whilst Marsden, although his scenes are brief, is so believable as the absent father.

I can see where this film could be seen as shallow and it's true that there are a few stronger issues that are touched on but not really developed (consent, domestic violence to name a few). However, in a way I appreciated how the plot continued on without delving into the complexities and our characters continued to make the impulsive and flawed decisions that make them as human and realistic as you or me - shaped by these things that have happened to them, but not defined.
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Pretty depressing but very much worth watching & I highly recommend. If you like What Maisie Knew you will love this. I say B+
cosmo_tiger7 September 2013
"If memory is malleable then the future is too." Lucy is a sixteen year old girl who is too smart for her own good. She spends her free time learning how to cook and hanging out with her friend Kenny. Her mother (Danes) and father (Marsden) had her when they were young and not ready for that responsibility. Now with her dad gone all but 4 times a year and her mom acting like a kid herself Lucy is left to discover life for herself. This is a movie that again proves my point that a movie can be entertaining and worth watching involving great acting rather then special effects. This is a movie along the line of What Maisie Knew only involving an older child rather then a 6 year old. Parents that should not have been allowed to have children and a child who is more mature then the parents. You really root for Lucy the entire time and by the time the end come you feel extremely sorry for her as well as relief. That is a hard combination to achieve but that's what great writing and acting does. Overall, a great movie that is pretty depressing but I recommend this. I give it a B+.
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Charming and depressing at the same time
GirishGowda20 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Sixteen-year-old Lucy (Sarah Bolger) is a tomboy. She gets on well with her father (James Marsden) but is frequently separated from him for months on end when he goes to work in Canada. Her relationship with her mother (Claire Danes) is easy-going and she takes care of most things around the house. She tunes into her sexuality and her not so 'stable' family dynamics. She develops a relationship with her best friend Kenny (Thomas Mann) and starts to realize that her parents' marriage is not as solid as she had previously imagined. She notices that her father's extended stays away from the family are not typical, and that her mother does not pine for her father as much as she herself does.

After watching this movie, I feel like Sarah Bolger is a naturally talented actress. She can hold your attention the entire time she's on screen. The rest of the actors are all fine. This is a small compelling chapter in a young girl's life. Lucy doesn't shun the mainstream stereotypical look of girls, as much as she naturally develops into her own person with her own traits. She realizes that she doesn't have a 'stable' family per se and that she may be the only adult in her family. The parents, their actions, struggles, the guys at school, her falling in mutual love with the one person she knows she can trust outside of her family, her love for cooking, everything is quite realistic and a little depressing at times.

Most of the characters are nuanced and as the story progresses, their outbursts come naturally. Each one is given enough time and material to let their personalities come through. Their actions aren't glorified, but neither are they demonized. It just comes off as understandable. Rape is one thing I simply cannot stand and Lucy should have made a complaint to make the boy pay, but we have seen/heard of that course of inaction a lot of times in real life. Her father telling the story of a mutilated saint just came off as ignorant of reality, but also highlighted his upbringing and the guilt he felt for having a child at such a young age. After Roger Ebert's passing, there's only one critic that I trust. He hasn't reviewed this movie, but I fail to understand the disdain and vitriol spewed against this charming coming of age tale by most of the other self-anointed 'critics'. This isn't a path-breaking tale, but it doesn't mean it doesn't have its own appeal.

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Claire Danes fans will be disappointing in this messy, seemingly pointless coming-of-age drama.
urbanlegend2326 June 2016
"As Cool as I Am" is a well-intentioned coming-of-age story, but it seriously lacks focus. The story jumps from one thread to the next, back-and-forth between the main characters' romantic relationships, all with little clarity, understanding of character motivation or overall narrative drive. In amongst this messy storytelling are a few prominent moments: a rape scene, and a moment where a neglectful father slaps his daughter. Both of these jarring moments seem to be almost immediately forgotten about, lacking sufficient follow-up or indication of how the events affect the lives and psyche of the main characters. It's irresponsible of the filmmakers to raise sensitive themes like rape and abuse and not take the time to properly deal with or resolve them.

I've become an increasingly avid Claire Danes fan since 2011 when I became obsessive over "Homeland" – the superb TV drama she headlines – and her involvement was the main factor drawing me to "Cool", her first feature film performance in five years. Sadly it has to be said that if this is the best script Danes can find to draw her back to the big screen, she'd be better off sticking with the box.

Unfortunately for fans like myself, "Cool" doesn't offer Danes (who only gets a sketchy outline of a character at best, and is relegated to the sidelines most of the film) much of an opportunity to stretch her considerable acting muscles. Her performance actually falls flat during the major cathartic, emotional scenes in the final third. The star of the film is Sarah Bolger, who is in almost every scene of the film and leaves a real impression. She's the most genuine thing about the whole project, and her major emotional moments ring true – she even sells her main character's culinary interests which are otherwise undercooked (excuse the pun).

"Cool" has a distinctly unfinished feel. Characters (particularly Danes') make utterly baffling decisions toward the end of the film which are never resolved, and far too many threads are simply left dangling by the final frame. This sub-par, shoulder shrug of an ending leaves a feeling of redundancy around the whole film. What was the point? And another question that just has to be asked while I'm at it: what on Earth is the meaning of the film's title?
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Actually turned out better than anticipated...
paul_haakonsen9 March 2014
I had initially thought this movie to be a comedy. Mainly because I hadn't read the synopsis, nor scouted IMDb for information about it. All I had was seen the movie's front cover.

And now having seen the movie, I will say that, whilst this wasn't a comedy, then the movie didn't fail to entertain. This is a movie about real people with real problems ... well, or at least that is what is meant to be portrayed in the movie. And director Max Mayer actually pulled it off quite nicely, because the characters were very realistic and people you could relate to on one level or another. And the story was well-told, with a good constant flow to the storyline.

However, as good as the characters and storyline were, then the movie would be nothing without proper acting talent. And the people they had cast for the various roles in "As Cool As I Am" were really doing great jobs, each and everyone of them. The ensemble they had put together for this movie were really talented and really brought the movie to life on the screen.

If you enjoy a good drama that could very well be something straight out of someone's ordinary day-to-day life, then you most definitely should sit down to watch "As Cool As I Am".

The reason for me 'only' giving this movie a 6 out of 10 stars, is that the movie seems to be aimed mostly at a young adult / late teenager audience. But still, the movie is enjoyable and definitely worth watching regardless of your age.
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As troubled as I was (and still am)
StevePulaski22 August 2013
As Cool as I Am isn't really a gripping film, and will likely be far away from my favorites of the year, but in terms of trying to revitalize the coming-of-age drama with a delightfully contemporary idea and script is succeeds solely on that merit. It concerns Lucy (Sarah Bolger), a well-mannered fourteen year old who has a lumberjack father Chuck (James Marsden) who is away for long periods of time due to work and her mother Lainee (Claire Danes), who might as well be her age thanks to her attitude and approach to reality. Lucy always had the idea that her family was "stable" in that they functioned like a normal family. However, as she gets older, she realizes her family is a "real" one, with problems and conflicts that are usually not instantly noticed by kids. This whole idea of "stable" and "real" families is discussed in the opening monologue, pretty much admitting the film will not be a narrow look at this common issue that is quickly growing.

That issue is having a child at a young age. Chuck and Lainee had Lucy when they were both seventeen, making them not much older than her in retrospect, leaving most of their decisions to be rather impulsive and quite questionable. For such a contemporary issue - having children and kids young and, often, out of wedlock - this one is scarcely brought up and thrown into public eye. Director Max Mayer, of the 2009 sleeper-hit Adam, brings a mature and focused look to the subject by allowing each character some expression and a moment when their personality comes out.

Lucy is already becoming a young woman, and with an unstable family life and an absent father, this leads her on a path she wouldn't normally take. She becomes more flirtatious, acts differently around her guy friends, and on several occasions almost consents to sex. This plot alone wages the question "are teens more likely to become rebellious if they do not have both parents playing a significant role in their life?" When her father returns home, and realizes that Lucy has, for one, driven the car unsupervised after her mother arrives at an interview, and has gone on to kiss several different boys, he becomes mad and very violent out of nowhere. That's his moment to shine; would his anger be so prominent and consuming if he had been home consistently? The only other main character is the mother, whose reckless behavior is almost as bad as her husband's absence. She becomes flirtatious at the office, even so far as to have sex with a co-worker not long after beginning to work there. After finding this out, Lucy can use this as bait to justify her actions rather than be awkwardly silent when he mother ridicules her for her behavior. The character's actions are one big, tangled cycle that only fuel and unintentionally elaborate on each others decisions.

As Cool as I Am asks a lot of questions and, in the end, quietly leaves the audience with deteriorating optimism that maybe Lucy will end up unsatisfied later in life, and at only fourteen, this idea likely hasn't crossed her mind. Writer Virginia Korus Spragg does a smooth job at developing the characters on the surface and subtly evoking commentary on the new generation of kids, many of whom likely to be raised by a more uncertain, rushed generation of people. I see another cycle coming along.

Starring: Claire Danes, James Marsden, and Sarah Bolger, and Jon Tenney. Directed by: Max Mayer.
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Made my heart smile...
DTorok33318 November 2013
This movie was not what I was expecting by far! It gave me more of a Non-Mainstream type of Mother/Daughter Film! Which was highly unexpected, but very Welcomed! lol There are a lot of these types of movies out now, they all seem to have either one out of two types of plots. 1. The Mom is a crappy mother, Which is a broad term but you get the idea, she is in one way or another not a good mother to her child. Therefore leaving this child to be more mature for her age, and the story line follows her around in a coming of age type of movie usually. Or 2. The Child is a defiant one, a trouble maker to say the least, leaving the poor mother/father or both stressed and/or worried about their child, and how it's their fault, etc. etc. etc. This movie is a semi-mixture of both of those scenarios, which I enjoyed being surprised by! It made the movie more life-like, more likely to happen in this day and age. So if you are a semi-younger Mother of a pre-teen or teenage daughter, I highly recommend this movie to YOU! As It's nice sometimes to watch movies you, and your heart, and home life can relate to! At least for me it is.
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One of the best Coming of Age films in eons
callanvass25 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Lucy Diamond has to deal with a very dysfunctional family. She only sees her Dad a few times per year, thanks to his lumberjack duties. Her mother does the best that she can, but she's in disarray. Her best friend is a guy, Kenny. Lucy & Kenny fall for each other during the summer. When school starts, things begin to get increasingly difficult when Lucy starts exploring sex and alcohol, while everyone she cares about seems to abandon her in time of need. Meanwhile, Lucy's mother Lainee can't cope very well with her husband's constant time away and resorts to sleeping with other guys to try to alleviate her suffering.

5.8? Are you kidding me? This is a genuine piece of film making with the best intentions in mind for everyone. Not only is it very realistic for the most part, but the strength of the character development in this film is top-notch. You are able to sympathize with everyone in this film in some shape or form. Even when I didn't agree with a character's decision or their attitude, I was still able to get into their plights. I thought it was a very good look at not only teenage angst, but parenting as well. The issues between Lainee (The Mom) , & Chuck (The Dad) is all too real. Far too often do things go awry when you have a child at such a young age. You start to pine for your glory years after a while, forgetting about the things that are most important. We all deal with things in different ways. I've heard people talk about how predictable this movie is. They're correct about that, but predictability isn't always a bad thing, now, is it? Claire Danes is terrific as the complex mother. There were times I couldn't stand her and others where I absolutely adored her, but when all is said and done, it's impossible not to feel something for her character. As good as Claire Danes is, the best performance in this movie belongs to Sarah Bolger. She is absolutely phenomenal for her age, conveying many emotions to perfection. She has a lot of screen time and she is easily up to the task. I was very impressed by her. James Mardsen is excellent as the father with pent-up frustration and repressed anger. it isn't that easy to sympathize with him, but if you look hard enough, you should be able too. My only complaint about this movie is that the second half gets a bit convoluted. After a near perfect first half, things get a little haywire with too many loose ends. I didn't like the ending at all. It is ambitious, but it fails to make much sense and left me feeling somewhat deflated after such a powerful experience for most of the movie.

Final Thoughts: This is one of the most underrated films of 2013. Sure, the second half is slightly disappointing, but nowhere near enough to hamper your overall experience. I loved it and I hope you will as well. Don't neglect it like many others have

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Not awful, well-produced, but...
FrankNSteinSinatra25 February 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I was forced to watch for 90 minutes of a mother's and her daughter's scenes of unfaithfulness, and when near the end a little catastrophe happened, did I feel empathy for the protagonists? Not too much. I felt the movie was too middle classy to my taste. Apparently money, fresh ingredients and good looks help people easily out of their disillusions and life goes on. Maybe a broken neck or a gun fight would have made this piece more satisfactory, more tragedy, but in this manner.... just a soap opera where even dogs were just dogs.
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intense, depressing mess of a movie
novagirl117 January 2018
I like James Marsden, but I think this is the worst role I've seen him in. Claire Danes has a couple emotional performances, but it's not enough to redeem this intense, depressing mess of a movie
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a very well placed movie...but a little bit depressing at the end..but it covers up!
puruagarwal9614 November 2013
ah! no words for this movie. What to say, acting was perfect, direction was super perfect and the best part; the movie held my emotions till the very end. Based on the book by Pete Fromm, this movie is a very well placed movie. A story about a girl who faces problems because of her parents bad relations and a friend cum lover who is always with her but then the movie takes a turn and changes her life all the way round and it just gets worse and worse. The movie is depressing at sometimes but lets just face it that these kind of depressions are in everybody lives. This movie is really something and i would recommend every teen to specially watch this movie and learn how to be tough in worst situations. Well done Mr. Max Mayer (DIRECTOR), Mr. Pete Fromm for your beautiful novel. And Love You Sarah Bolger for your fantastic acting. I don't even touch you. I have to learn a lot from you! My acting is nothing in front of yours. Congrats! :) 9/10 :)
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Sarcastically Cool
in19841 December 2013
7.1 of 10. As teen girl films go this year, I prefer The Truth About Emanuel (2013). By comparison, this is clearly an attempt to do another teen girl perspective film. In many ways, it succeeds in addressing important issues while still creating something amusing and sexy teens can relate to. Unfortunately, it tries to do too much and cover too much ground.

One of the many good artistic things it does that is often failed in other films is having the lead character speak in the background for added context. Here, it's done the way it should be, like hearing the character's thoughts and not trying to use it to tell the story.

Some other films this reminds me of and those who enjoy this (or those) will enjoy: Drool (2009), Rocket Science (2007), Snow Angels (2007), Lars and the Real Girl (2007), Teeth (2007), Poker House (2008), Precious (2009), and Kids (1995).
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RosanaBotafogo21 May 2020
So cute, so cool, so complicated and perfect, a film that can transport us, we are part of that cool family, full of ups and downs, but wrapped in a lot of love, and as the line goes on, I need a storm like that in my garden ... Passionate ...
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About teenage love
andrewjoy-758788 March 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Best bit seeing Sarah bolger humped in various positions, she is beautiful in this
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A Cool kind, but suddenly feeling the real life pressure!
Reno-Rangan24 August 2016
Another teen comedy-drama, precisely to say a coming-of-age theme based on the novel of the same name. It is not from the big production house, but the well known faces make it a worth a watch and their performances were too not bad. The tale of a teen tomboy girl Lucy, whose father visits home often who works in Canada and her mother is an easy going type. It's about a time for her sexual exploration and the first choice is her best buddy Kenny. But quickly the things around changes which forces her to opt the life she wants and what follows is how it all shapes up before bringing a curtain to the narration.

I felt like wanting to give it a better rating, at least it deserves a decent respect, but narration had lots of up and down. That does not matter, even for how a tale begins, but the ending should have been a better one where I slightly disappointed with it. Sarah Bolger looked solid, totally one man show you could say. Maybe that is how the story was designed, but that did not stand a chance to impress me, because I thought it leaned excessively on her alone leaving other characters less developed. Anyway, it could also be said like this that it was her story which lacked the good support.

It is not just a coming-of-age film, but when you look at how the story ends, that's kind of self-discovery. Maybe the girl was caught between the teenhood and adulthood, especially in the climax it leaped forward too long. The hardest part is the R rating for a teen film, though there were none nudes, even in the sex scenes, but the film topic itself highly influenced by those like experiencing and moving-on in the life. So the film is not worth going after for a watching by someone's recommendation, only when you get an opportunity without much options you could try it.

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If your parents never had sex chances are you'll never get it either.
TxMike24 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I came across this movie on Netflix streaming movies. I took a chance and it is well worth the 90 minutes. Good story and good characters.

It is a discouraging movie in many ways but has a hopeful ending. Set and filmed in New Mexico, Sarah Bolger, doing a believable American teen accent, is 16-yr-old high school sophomore Lucy Diamond. Her dad, James Marsden as Chuck Diamond, has some sort of job that requires him to be away for weeks at a time. Her mom is Claire Danes as Lainee Diamond who had Sarah when she was only 17. Chuck is old-fashioned, he is the bread winner so Lainee doesn't tell him she has a telemarketing job when he is away.

The story is centered on Sarah, she is smart and responsible but her dad and mom probably should have never married. They don't have a loving relationship and mom strays when she meets what seems to be a nice guy. There is an interesting scene in a supermarket when one of those "nice guys" courting her is seen shopping with his two children and his wife.

So how does Sarah avoid that same trap? And how can she pursue her love of cooking, perhaps becoming a successful chef, and writing a bestselling cookbook? Her best friend since they were 6 is Thomas Mann as neighbor Kenny Crauder and after Sarah and Kenny start to realize maybe they are meant for much more together, and begin experimenting, Kenny gets sent away to live with his father.

The movie never pretends there are easy answers for all these issues. In the end mom finds yet another old boyfriend, she desperately needs to be "saved". In the process Sarah has to fend for herself again.

The movie ends with a sweet scene, with a Peter Fonda cameo as the owner of a popular local restaurant. After his son and Lainee run off to Mexico Sarah finds ingredients in the kitchen of the now closed for the evening restaurant and makes eggs in a red sauce. She serves herself and Fonda's character, they taste and compare notes as Sarah's voice-over indicates she will be OK, she has a plan.
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A Movie Worth Watching
sourin-bhattacharya25 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is a good and flowing one. The way Lucy's relationship with her parents is portrayed arises the interest of the spectators. She started off her journey with her longtime playmate, got drunk in a party, took some decisions out of the sheer heat of the moment, repented later but gained hope once again. She aspired to become a Chef and never did diverge too far away from that goal. This movie also portrays the midlife crisis that her mother had undergone and her questionable decisions to date and hook with other people. In the end, she focuses on a bright future considering that she is only sixteen and have a lot to achieve in the near future!
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decent adaptation, but strays along way from the source.
paul-127-72693031 December 2014
This is at tops a TV movie designed for a Sunday afternoon when you have nothing better to do. It does stray along way from Pete Fromm's book which is considerably more intense and describes the falling apart of a family in greater detail than the film. The performances were OK, James Marsden and Claire Danes gave below par performances compared to their other work. Sarah Bolger carried the role of Lucy off nicely but for obvious reason didn't commit to the character 100%. For those interested it might be worth doing a search for a Matthew J. Clark short called 'Dry Rain' based on a short story by Pete Fromm.

If you do enjoy the film it is very much worth reading the book which goes into many of the implied topics in the film in greater detail.
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Not tense enough; too disjointed, inconsistent and imbalanced
blakkdog26 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I thought the film largely lacked tension even at points where there should have been and that combined with the teen coming-of-age perspective made it seem more like a scatter brained after school special then a serious movie about a kid finding herself. They left so many things disconnected and made illogical jumps from one thing to the next. Sara Bolger definitely comes off as too mature for a 15 year old and that throws you some, especially as they are trying to make her character precocious and much smarter (and more mature) then her dimwitted poor choice making mother. And there's no logical consistency from one point in the story to the next. Why do they set up her initial relationship with her long time best friend as if its her destiny and then he's basically removed from the movie other than post cards and a phone call? Whats with that clever scene where they are feeding the dogs and the boy says he wants this to work long term and doesn't want to do anything to risk it like more sex and then BAM shes on him again and hes fine with it and he's gone shortly after? Felt wrong. And her jumping into a car with high school jock dude after all the speeches about being disgusted by people like that and NOT being interested in the least. And getting date raped and then being furious with his friend but getting over it and jumping into bed with him? None of that worked for me. (And why would the jock/prom king cliché character even be interested in her! What was so special about her? Had he made a bet? She wasn't particularly pretty or alluring). Her character wasn't ditzy or insecure enough to justify her actions. They made her into this righteous wise young person who says all the right things and really seems to get it but her actions were completely alien to her character. You can have her be a precocious kid. Just don't have her be the one person in the film that the audience thinks understands the difference between right and wrong (because that character foil is necessary so she can be the counterbalance to her stupid immature parents who make endless dumb decisions). And then we are supposed to believe that the mom was a nun until just recently even though the entire movie she acts like a desperate slut and THATS why Lucy has decided to run out and screw different guys? Because her mom told her she hadnt until recently and she doesn't want to end up like that? No... Doesn't work...

In the end the only message I got from this movie was parents can be dumb and immature and you can be smart and wise for your age but you should still have promiscuous sex with different people just so you don't end up regretting your relationship with your childhood best friend when you are older.

Oh and is her name a reference to the Beatles song? That bothered me the whole film...

I will say the sign I enjoyed the most (and the ONLY scene where I felt any worthwhile tension) was the well laid out dueling scenes where the mom runs into an confronts the man shes cheating with in the store with his family at the exact same time was Lucy's dad comes home unannounced and walks in on her having sex with a guy. The back and forth and increasing tension of both scenes worked well. Claire Danes was especially convincing emotionally during this scene. And we needed more of that kind of uncomfortable tension during the rest of the movie. The rape scene was much too easy to take and she just... gets over it after a while. What?! Are we supposed to assume in the end she going to go back to her original boyfriend once she is done exploring the world and getting with different guys? The movie needed to be more clear on that if so. They just leave that relationship out there. What they presented as destiny before no seems on hold or disconnected and you don't know what to think about it. All the post cards and calls but out she runs with other guys even though we are supposed to accept that shes a smart girl who makes better choices then her mom... And we are given no closure with the last boyfriend who we assume ran off after being attacked by her dad? and she doesn't seem effected by that. And the whole Mario thing creeped me out just slightly. Was he supposed to become a character in the movie? She dwelled on him a little too much for him to be just a chef on TV that inspires her.

In the end, I enjoyed Bolger's performance but I don't think the movie fit together well and it ran flat without enough tension where the things that were being depicted clearly needed tension to make the audience uncomfortable and challenged. The dynamic with the mostly absent dad is overwhelmed by the dynamic with the slutty dumb blonde mom because shes there more often until she abandons her in the end for an old flame. Its not really a coming of age film its more a "My crazy nonsensical family life" film where the actions don't make complete sense.
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A life in suburbs
MajorBaleegh20 December 2013
The story unfolds about a family living in suburbs of a major town in United States, having husband and wife and their daughter. Father being a lumberjack stays away from home for the majority of the time. He is from the old school and thinks that family is a bond which should remain intact at all times whatever the circumstances may be. The mother who works at a local advertising agency is often dressed up way too bold unlike a mother has to be dressed. The daughter is free bird who has a boy friend since her childhood and she remained focuses on him. During the time the father is at home everybody restricts their normal routine and stay close to him and once he leaves for his job they return to their normal lives. The mother who got married at an early age still thinks that she is a unmarried woman and likes to screwed around to her follow employee's, and she dressed up in a fashion that she is a teenager which she is not supposed to do. The daughter in the later part of the movie started changing her boy friend and started to screw around like her mother. The father one day caught the daughter while she was making love to his boy friend tries to hit her boy friend who in fact was a strong guy over powered the father and hit him. The daughter tries to console dad who slap her on her face and left back to work as an escape route. The mother found her college boy friend and ran away with him to Mexico. The daughter joins a café and started showing cooking lessons. Till now! It was about the movie and their role the actors played but in real life in Pakistan, it does not hold true as depicted in the movie. The bond of family is not so weak that if husband is working in some other city or he is working late it means that the wife should start acting like a prostitute and should be screwing and flirting around and the daughter is screwing entire class for that matter. Though the acting and setting was perfect and I gave this movie 9 out of 10.
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Not as cool as I expected
jgunn31621 February 2014
OK, first let me start by saying I adore both Claire Danes and James Marsden (usually) so I was excited to watch this film, hoping for a cute and funny story that I could relate to (being a teen mom myself, who now has teenage children). What a disappointment! This movie is not funny at all. Never once did I laugh or even chuckle. Why it's labeled a comedy is a mystery to me.

Furthermore, and I'm not giving anything away here, but the ending was abrupt and heartbreaking, and left me in tears! I seriously wish I could get the $1.20 I wasted on this film refunded from Redbox and rewind the clock and use that wasted time doing anything else. If you are in the mood for something funny, steer clear of this tragedy.
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sleeper hit of 2013
bektaskonca21 August 2013
i stumbled it by chance had no idea or heard of this film before. i wanted first get this of my chest i started hating parents in films and real life saying we gave up everything for you WHAT A BULL, so now it is the kids fault being born i you had a magic ball showing you if you did not have this kid you would have been the president instead it was the kid who saved you from becoming a drug dealer, prostitute, drug user who died the next year or died of car accident next day so on so on. when did we become so low as blaming our kids for things going wrong? i can not blame no one but myself for my failures and my kids. getting back to the film i have to say the kids in this movie are not your normal average kids they are too mature and intelligent almost not real. i loved the film it was well put together well acted and directed it should be watched by every one as it appeals to wide range of todays society.
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Teens make poor choices and so do their parents, but that doesn't make a movie good
tbutterful2 March 2014
Warning: Spoilers
As Cool as I Am (2013)

Do I feel the need to ever watch this movie again? No Did the actors have good chemistry? Yes Was the plot decent? Not entirely Execution decent? okay

This movie offers up some good examples (as far as fiction goes) of why some people should not have children until they are ready and how not experiencing things or experiencing too much can harm you.

I couldn't cheer for or against any of the main characters in this film. The situations that come up are very predictable and the way they are solved or left unresolved is annoying.

The opening scene had me excited for this film:

Lucy is swinging around on bars in a playground with her best friend Kenny while her voice-over plays.

"Everybody has two families. The stable family we pretend to have. Then there's the real people we are related to. My best friend Kenny says, "Stable families make boring children." And by stable families, I think he means the kind were mom and dad and kids stay in the same house all the time. And by boring he means not as cool as we are."

They stop swinging and start playfully talking. Then Lucy runs home and a montage plays up the cool family aspect. The Diamond family is different for several reasons: neither parent has living parents, they became parents very young, the dad only visits a few times a year, and her mother has a job, Mr. Diamond doesn't know about. None of this is particularly interesting but serves to create conflict later on.

The only thing I found funny in this comedy was Claire Danes in one scene. Her outrage at the grocery store was unbelievable. The character and her acting was hilarious in that setting. It was beyond stupid and ironic. James Marsden did decent considering he was mostly allowed to allude to saints throughout the movie. His overreactions could almost have been endearing if they weren't so violent. Kenny's mom despite the way she handled things, was one of the few people who did something that made sense and wasn't just an action done to feel something.

Sometimes not liking any of the characters in a movie can work. As Cool as I Am doesn't make that cut. There are so many things wrong with the characters yet these flaws don't captivate me to feel anything beyond annoyance at the experience. Lucy is a victim of her own making. I'm not even talking about the rape. She didn't want it and chose not to pursue charges. That was her right. It was smart of her to get an exam and opt for the HIV prevention drug. Then for so irrational reason, she starts dating the ex best friend of the guy who raped her, just because he flipped the guy off and invited her fishing. Not all rape victims, want to be victims, and deal in different ways. This just seemed so unrealistic and contrived.

Well at least she was smart enough to get birth control, after the first time she had sex with Kenny, who loves her (according to him), and use a condom other times. Safe sex can be good. This movie was not good. It was okay.
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