Fourth of July (2022) Poster

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"I'm ashamed... and I think it's too late"
PennyForMyThoughts1 July 2022
Joe List stars as Jeff, three years sober and potentially on the cusp of fatherhood. Jeff fears that he lacks the potential to be a good parent due to his own dysfunctional childhood. To overcome his anxiety at its source, he plans to confront his family of acerbic Bostonians regarding the perceived shortcomings of his own upbringing while at their annual family lakeside gathering in Maine.

First and foremost, the film is hilarious. The sold out crowd at tonight's world premiere at the Beacon Theatre in Manhattan was laughing from start to finish. Joe List is great, Robert Kelly steals every scene he's in, and Tara Pacheco provided some excellent subtle humor as the neutral observer. Nick Di Paolo and Louis do not disappoint either.

The cowriting of Joe List and Louis CK seemed to shine through in an introspective and cathartic way from both ends of the spectrum of fatherhood. On one side, trepidation regarding what may be, and on the other end, regret for what has been and can never be undone (portrayed phenomenally through the father character by Robert Walsh).

The casting was fantastic from top to bottom. My only small qualm with the film is that the exposition in the first act was a bit heavy handed. Not really distracting though.

See this movie in theatres if you have the opportunity, it was a great experience to be able to laugh with a crowd of strangers again.
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Well acted, hilarious, touching
jonasleaparis5 July 2022
Made my day better, great movie. The critics hate C. K. But this was a genuinely good movie. Joe list had an excellent performance. Will get it and watch it again in my home cinema.
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"Professional" Critics Have Never Created ANYTHING.
jeff-205124 August 2022
Wow. The "pros" scorched this film. Why? Because they're woke drones. We can forgive any and all transgressions from the "right" crowd, but we are required to destroy anyone not in the tribe?

This is a beautiful little independent film, with excellent writing, directing, and soulful acting. It's worth every dime I paid to watch it. Ignore the woke pros.
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Unique! Check It Out
MortSahlFan5 July 2022
Very fine writing, acting, funny. They don't make movies like this anymore. Even the minor characters all have importance, and all do a good job. Lots of subtle humor, and it has a good independent spirit. I didn't see CK's first movie, and wish I had seen it first for chronological context and to see the evolution, but I'm looking forward to seeing that now, too.
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A Standout "Authentic" Comedy
jt_h132 July 2022
I went into this expecting an average movie, but was honestly blown away. With so many overproduced, overacted and overperfected films these days, this one felt truly authentic. Louis CK's writing stands out throughout: Fourth of July delivers genuinely hilarious moments seemingly at every turn. As a master of comedy, Louis understands better than most that great comedy comes from great pain. The film does an exceptional job of exploring the blurred line between surface level "okayness" (aided by humor, beer, and raunchy jokes) and the deeper emotions that we all suppress. By exploring this blurred space, the audience experiences laughter and sadness almost simultaneously. I believe this is the greatest form of comedy, and a reflection of life itself: wanting to cry from pain, but also laughing at the absurdity of it all and ultimately telling yourself the same thing this movie tells you: it's gonna be okay.
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Ignore the vindictive critics
So lame that this film is getting shit on by vindictive film critics that insist on ripping anything louis ck does post scandal. This is a very beautiful movie.
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Skillful in every respect.
jimfinger-477936 August 2022
Thoughtful, believable study of a sensitive individual, now in adulthood, attempting to reconcile his resentments towards his parents and family while simultaneously being accepting of their (and his) faults and foibles. Exceptionally well-performed, realistically written, and directed with unerring good judgement. If you're looking for a comedy, beware, while there are a handful of smiles, this is a drama in the best sense of the word.
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Very Unique
gus-johnson02357 August 2022
I don't think I've ever seen a movie like this before and I mean that in the best way possible. It's incredibly honest and I think touches on very real dynamics on family and shows them in a very realistic way. Jeff's father is especially sympathetic. Painful movie but it still has a lot of hope too.
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Great movie and definitely worth a watch!
darrel07625 August 2022
Such a good movie. The dialogue is great and the each character is important. They all gave a great performance. The family is so harsh and funny to watch. That said, I wouldn't want them as mine.

Awesome movie Louie!
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Dealing with your own family stuff
xaggurat8 August 2022
Not many film makers deal with the problems of being a modern man as interestingly as Louis CK does, and I very much hope he will continue to do so. Louis CK plays a supporting role as a therapist in this movie, it's a fitting role - as a writer/director his approach is quite therapeutic. Acceptance follows confrontation, and love follows acceptance.
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Real Funny!
matmartins8 July 2022
Saw it at the Schubert Theater in Boston, so I'm admittedly already a fan of the individual styles of Louis C. K. and Joe List, hoping to see something that falls in-between. This film landed on the mark. It showed off a sense of Louis' striking instinct for pushing the boundaries of when I'd be comfortable to laugh (especially around others) and the mindful, vulnerable wit of Joe List being his whole self. From both ends, it inspires something in me that shows off a new independent flavor of laughter that leaps beyond a stale majority of comedy found sifting through on streaming providers or more mainstream outlets. This movie is makes me feel like my vegetables taste like candy. At it's core, this is a movie about something all too familiar to most of us now - about substance use and mental health. Packaged as a movie about getting sober and getting gay, striving to be better because you've seen the consequences of letting go of the reigns. Consequences made by people you still love, no less. Thematically, this film confronts what it's like to have to set boundaries at someone else's party when you're whole life has been full of party fouls. What it's like to have to find the hilarity when someone actively forces you to play something else so they can continue dancing their way. We follow these characters as they balance selfishness and selflessness, seeing the chaos of letting unfold a deep spiral of mental health carnage made bare by generations of bad parents with redemptive intentions. Family includes a whole household literally head by the Priest from Spotlight showing us how you can negatively affect the youth even just by sitting on a boat in silence. Youth that grows to be pushover dads or selfcentered matriarchs both afraid to speak up about the elephant in the room. I endorse the work put into this feature here, and even though these clowns are slinging it around the circuit like it's a bell for turkey dinner, it makes me happy that they're doing it for the right reasons. Even if no one asks me not even once if I'm doing ok after someone I love died. I'm happy even to be a fly on the wall while they show something real in cinema for audiences who need to check their heads. Because it's like getting to stop thinking about your own problems while you're somehow helping even just to be present with someone else's shit for around 90 minutes. I'd say this movie tempted me with trying to become better myself, know my own boundaries, and feel like laughing even when telling the truth gets me in trouble. Trouble lasts just as long as I let it feel too real and not enough funny. Real and funny cinema, like La Vita e Bella but less mass murder and more drunk New England summer lakehouse getaway trips where listening to jazz makes you gay.
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The script was a fresh take but not quite a complete character arc
imaginedavis7 August 2022
Warning: Spoilers
I think Louis was attempting an abstract direction by making the family's disfunction as the antagonist in the film. There are only a couple movies that pulled this off such as Silver Linings Playbook but I think that Little Miss Sunshine was closer to what Louis was going for since the family had to band together and become a family unit to complete their collective goal. What made that script work is that the little girl's passion and drive was the clear force behind the character's changes whereas in the Fourth of July script, it is not all that clear what is going to bring about the shift in the plot. I think the idea was to have Joe's character's honesty, compassion and wistful piano be the proverbial 'mirror' which forces each to become better people. Unfortunately, Jeff's bold confrontation only seemed to have an effect on the father - and only internally. Louis demonstrates this by using some weird editing choices(e.g. Color filters and handheld camera) which weren't consistent with any other parts of the film.

I did have some positive takeaways however. I grew up in New England and I can't recall many other films where the famous blunt personality type taking the center stage as much as it does in this movie, so in that way, the script is a bit of a fresh take. Also, it was nice to discover that many of my favorite comedians, the foremost being Joe List, proved to be such excellent dramatic actors.
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I really wanted to like this
katswiftphotography26 March 2023
I have have loved every piece of work by Louis but this film was not good. It was just unrealistic. I get what it was going for as far as the family dynamic but over the top. The fact that the dad wouldn't talk and just walked around looking stupid for far too much of the movie was infuriating. Like ok, we get it. He's having remorse and thinking about his own dad. Let's move on. It's like he has some kind of mental disability. Or as they say plenty in the movie, it's like he's a "retard" The main character's acting was really good but I can't name another solid performance. One movie that nailed this kind of family dynamic was silver linings playbook. This was definitely not that. I'm not even sure what story this movie was trying to tell.

You're better than this lou. Still got love For ya.
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I love Louis CK, love the idea of this movie but it's too slow
ringingpeacehb11 February 2023
Warning: Spoilers
I watch and buy everything Louis CK does. He is my number one guy. I love him. But this movie was not good. The topic is interesting and I like Joe List. There are many amazing scenes in this movie that are funny and sad also.

The thing that bothered me the most were those slow scenes where nothing happened, like when his father was sitting and undressing on the bed, then taking forever to say couple of words, etc. Those slow scenes killed me, without them I would have given this movie much bigger grade.

Some of the scenes are masterpieces. I still prefer this natural type of movie than those Hollywood generic bs that I cannot relate to.

Sorry Louie, I love your work no matter what :)
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Good moments throughout, Worth a Watch
actaction23 August 2022
Louie CK is a master of subtle, sentimental, semi-sweet story telling that is enriched here by Joe List's insights into one version of the American family. I think Louis CK is a welcomed voice in the indie film circuit any time he wants to speak. It worried me that his mistakes in life would black list him from continuing like it has so many others (obviously with various degrees of severity, guilt & what the crime was in it of itself). For what Louie did, while gross, was not and should not be a career ender. Reading professional reviews it's clear that CK's simply breathing anywhere near this (or any) new work is invitation to talk about his admitted mistakes and whether we as a society should give the thumbs up or down to let him continue to live. If CK made this about himself it would have been criticized, if he made it subtly about himself it would have been brought to the front & if he just made a non-offensive piece of work that too would have pissed off the enlightened crowd. It's obvious strangers want an apology and they don't know when they will be able to stomach him again. I argue, however, that the average movie goer, even the enlightened ones, care less about the scandal than anonymous judges on Twitter do or the people who have blacklisted him. There is no moving on for these people, so I'm happy that the artists here have moved on and made a meaningful film, since they will be judged harshly either way.

Fourth of July is a touching insight into a family incapable of sharing their true feelings & Joe's need to feel love in a more obvious way. Louis CK's brand of no nonsense filmmaking is clearly imprinted on the film, giving it freedom to be what it wants and doesn't sacrifice the tone just because it's relatively cheaply made. CK is also a good judge of talent and has put together a great cast, namely Joe List himself (whom I'd never heard of before this). The film made me laugh out loud a few times, always Joe's line & made me feel the longing for home and family thanks to the supporting cast. On the critical side, it felt a little long in a few places & possibly was about 10 min too long (the middle dragged until Joe yells at everybody). I kept seeing a green tint in one scene that I think was intentional, but I don't get what it means. Louis CK lately seems subdued in his acting (I felt the same way with the informercial he did). Live on stage he seemed normal when I saw him in New Orleans back in 2020, so not sure why his acting on camera is so so quiet and underplayed, almost tired. I want to see more of what he can do next & always enjoy his comedy. The film feels like a CK project, the only thing is CK seems somewhat absent from it on camera. Overall, well made indie film and I'm glad I bought it (for 5 years). If you can't get past the mistakes of its creator that seems to be more of a you problem and it shouldn't be what criticism is about. The film isn't perfect, I only have it a 6. It never quite reaches the wow moments from the Louie show or Horace and Pete. It is a good first step, though, toward hopefully more from an obviously talented group of people who can take a likely inexpensive production and run around and make something real out of it.
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One of the films of the year
Moviedude905 September 2022
I call it like it is, I'm not going to call something great if it's good, and I won't say a performance is great just because it's an actor I like in other films. Now that's out of the way...

...Louis C. K. is a legitimate filmmaker-whether it's the writing or the directing, he understands the human condition on many levels.

I won't spoil the movie or describe the character arcs that happen throughout the movie, but I'll leave you with this review:

I laughed out loud on several occasions, and am wiping the tears as I write this review. It was a truly moving film on so many levels, it was so raw and gritty and played out like a reality tv show you couldn't take your eyes off of. The family was so authentic, so believable, it makes me wonder if they weren't actually related. Amazing casting from top to bottom, the lead performances were epic, and the father had such a deep character i absolutely didn't know what was going to come out of his mouth next.

Seriously a 10/10, I don't know if I've ever been so moved by such an underrated, unknown, low budget flick in a very very long time if ever. Bravo Louis it's definitely worth the money imo. It does have a melancholy tone, but I definitely felt the resolve and didn't feel shortchanged a single penny.
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Not great
lalolandaesminombre28 August 2022
When I watch something made by Louis CK I expect absurdity and humor, along the lines Tomorrow Night or his TV show Louie (which are some of the greatest things I ever saw).

That´s not what we can find in Fourth of July: a depressing movie with poor directing/acting, meaningless lines, empty characters and boring plots. Filled with unnecesary scenes and some serious continuity errors. The best parts are the ones that involved Jeff with his Therapist, bringing absurdity to the story. Overall, it´s another mediocre indie movie. I hope the next one is about the Therapist, that would have more potential.
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A Hilarious, Moving and Honest Portrayal of Dysfunctional Families
Travis_Cummings_120811 July 2022
Louis CK is BACK, and this time he's with the monstrously talented Joe List. I cannot recall a more honest and spot-on portrayal of anxiety throughout cinema than this film. CK and List brilliantly capture the hilarious and horrifying situations that come along with having anxiety and a dysfunctional family. I have been a fan of List's for years, and wasn't sure he would be able to pull off a lead role in a feature film due to inexperience, but boy is he a natural raw talent! I shed tears of laughter throughout the first half, and tears of heartbreak throughout the second half. The ensemble cast is filled with comedians and Boston theater actors that were masterfully directed by CK who clearly demanded one thing: authenticity. There is not a moment in this film that feels like a "movie", and I am completely blown away by every aspect of this film. Do yourself a favor, and go see this film the first chance you get!
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Bringer Show
jfo-950561 July 2022
Fourth of July is like an old school character driven indy movie. Everything is pared down: the lighting, the (iphone) camera-work, the characters, the plot, and it begins to feel like a 1980s Dad-cam got left on, pointed at an average family, and a blur of disjointed ideas. The only thing that wasn't pared down was the tremor disorder that the cameraman is likely suffering from, and the number of plot loose ends. Louie CK and Joe List are brilliant comedians and seem like very earnest creators. I'm sure they put a lot more time into their standup than this slapdash sequence of non-dramas. Given their abilities, I'm guessing there was a loftier intention here - a commentary on one of the many jettisoned themes that whiz by from scene to scene maybe? But every scene (and the script) has the feeling of a rough draft, that - for whatever reason - got turned in, without working to find out what was cohesive, interesting, relevant or meaningful...or even entertaining about it. Their talents are probably worthy of a second draft.
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Snail paced, self indulgent, laughless
hawk-1192125 August 2022
Very amateur production. Boring long winded dialogue. Inexperienced acting and directing very apparent. Several filler scenes that should have been cut. Several scenes that should have been logically included. This is a drama, not a comedy movie.
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Heartwarming and funny
inbox-3981728 August 2022
This is a movie with some real heart.. some great laughs and very watchable. Not perfect - but close. The perfect antidote to most modern cinema. Recommended.

Only flaw for me was the various sub plots felt like they were wrapped up a little too quickly - but still was satisfying in the end. Definitely is good when you would prefer to see a little more of a film than less of it lol. A great film for anyone really.

The whole cast was good, and Tara Pacheco did a great job in my opinion - her character had a tough job to do - seemed a little unresolved in the plot but again it worked out well in the end.

Check it out :)
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Smart, funny, and very touching.
lember-006957 September 2022
I am not a fan of indy films. First minute of the movie I thought what did I just do? As the movie began and developed, I realized it had a lot of parallels with my not so perfect family and I was hooked. OMG it was so funny, and towards the end... it hit a nerve, it struck a chord with me... and I was in tears. I've watched it a bunch of times. Loved it. Joe List was great, Bobby Kelly was hilarious, Nick D was perfect, and the mom and dad ? Where did they find these 2... wow, top notch acting. I loved the camera angles and filters they used when he was having anxiety. It Felt real. The music was good too. The jazz and the score were well put together. This family is so awesome you have to wonder if there wil be a sequel or a spinoff??
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An OK movie
zhangyuandyou10 July 2022
The storyline is not so strong and is too simple for a full-length movie. It could have been shortened to an episode in his TV shows like "Louie" or "Horace and Pete". The acting was great though so it is worth watching. Louis CK is a great writer for plays, but not so much for movies.
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Great performances and dialogue.
Erfangholiz5 February 2023
I'm absolutely biased here because not only am I a huge Louis fan but I happened to watch this movie in a particular time in my life where it hit very close to home.

Some of the best performances of the year in my opinion, I've seen these characters in real life, I've heard these lines of dialogue with the same exact delivery in real life, every glance every change in tone every pause every hesitation every little touch had a purpose behind it.

There's also a lot of not-so-subtle visual cues like how the American flag is integrated in the sets and costumes and literally the poster and the name of the movie but I liked what it had to say about America and how Jeff is a liberal New York guy and his family is old fashioned (other than Kevin who's straight up a bigot) and how they need to reconcile.

The movie feels very authentic which comes with no surprise, because Louis, just like Jeff, is a New Yorker from Boston whose a performing artist.

The comedy could definitely have been stronger considering it was written by Louis C. K. but it didn't really bother me that he decided to take itself a little more seriously and the lack of comedy was totally justified.
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herzgm1 August 2022
Realistic look at family and life. So many laughs, but it's a story abt anxiety, love and acceptance. Entertaining throughout.

It's refrshing to see that original ideas can still be made into a movie.
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