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Chronically Metropolitan (2016)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 4 August 2017 (USA)
2:04 | Trailer
CHRONICALLY METROPOLITAN is a cynical and clever coming of age film about first time novelist Fenton Dillane, who, unannounced returns to New York City to confront his family, his ex- girlfriend and a few lingering childhood fears.


Xavier Manrique


Nicholas Schutt (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Shiloh Fernandez ... Fenton
Chris Noth ... Christopher
Victor Cruz ... Irving
Mary-Louise Parker ... Annabel (as Mary Louise Parker)
Josh Peck ... John
Addison Timlin ... Layla
Nasser Faris ... Ahmed
Ashley Benson ... Jessie
Sosie Bacon ... Hannah
Antoinette Kalaj ... Simi
Benja K. Thomas Benja K. Thomas ... Pam (as Benja Kay Thomas)
Rhys Coiro ... The Georgian
Chris Lowell ... Victor
Al Thompson ... Jackson
Whitney Vance Whitney Vance ... Alex
Learn more

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Full of wry wit, Chronically Metropolitan, is a cynical family drama about a young writer, Fenton, who is forced home to help the family cope when his larger than life father, Christopher, gets into a car accident with a truck full of crabs.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


Not Rated

Did You Know?


The bottles of beer in front of Fenton and Layla at the restaurant when their father takes them out is Duvel, a slightly sweet Belgian beer with 8.5% alcohol by volume. It is considered somewhat sacrilege to drink it out of the bottle as Layla does as like many Belgian beers, it has its own special glass in which it is supposed to be served to maximize all the characteristics of the beer when drinking it. See more »


Annabel's pony-tailed hair as she waits for a cab in the building's lobby. See more »


References Sleeping with the Enemy (1991) See more »


Written by Christopher Chu
Performed by Pop Etc (as The Morning Benders)
See more »

User Reviews

Every character is a predictable caricature. But maybe that's the point?
3 July 2019 | by rooprectSee all my reviews

"Chronically Metropolitan" is, as its title may seem to imply, a cascade of clichés from the land of NYC hipsters. Our hero "Fenton" (Shiloh Fernandez sporting Johnny Depp lookalike glasses and facial growth, but with a stupid find-Waldo tuque on his head that sorta kills the vibe) is the prodigal son of a famous NYC author. He returns home after a bizarre disappearance, only to learn that his family and friends are more screwed up than he could ever be.

What follows is mostly predictable with each person being a textbook caricature of the urban elite, as if they stepped straight out of an Edward Albee play ("Who's Afraid of Virginial Woolf" or maybe Capote's "Breakfast at Tiffany's"). And at first I found myself hating the story for being so hackneyed. But then I thought about the title of the movie and realized that maybe that's the point. Whether you find it interesting or irritating is up to you.

So for the rest of my review I'll just describe the 5 main characters, and you can figure out whether they're worth your time (I should add that within the limitations of each role, each actor did a great job).

1. THE FATHER - arrogant, self-absorbed, cynical. This is probably the most entertaining character of the bunch because he is the most extreme. Fenton's father is a man in his late 50s-60s, a famous, pseudo-intellectual author and university professor who's in the habit of seducing his students and acting like it's not his fault because, after all, who could resist him.

2. THE MOTHER - the rich martyr. Fenton's mother deals with the father's disturbing infidelities by playing the tortured martyr (perpetually with a class of Chardonnay in one hand). Think of every paper-mâché wife of every American politician embroiled in a sex scandal, the way she maintains appearances publicly but privately has nervous breakdowns on an hourly basis and smokes weed like it's Valium.

3. THE SISTER - the rebel. At first an interesting character, because she's the only one in the bunch who calls people out on their BS, this character loses her edge when she slips into a subplot about falling in love, and then she becomes like all the rest: self-absorbed and apathetic.

4. THE EX GIRLFRIEND - annoyingly confused. Fenton's ex-girlfriend rebounds from their breakup by getting herself engaged to some rich dude with an English accent. Her entire character arc can be described in one word: clueless. And I found myself not caring what happened to her, even though it was probably the central plot of the film (her relationship with Fenton).

which leads us to

5. FENTON - the ???. Three question marks because he had no personality. Again, maybe this was the point, that each character was such an extreme caricature that we needed a total wooden prop to serve as the observer. Heck, it worked in Citizen Kane. But here, since he is not merely an observer but the central figure in the plot, I couldn't help but feel let down. Fenton sort of sleepwalks through the entire story, only making one real conscious act of will toward the end, and it was handled so superficially that I was wholly unconvinced. The equivalent of the "running through the airport" scene in every romcoms, only it happens within 20 feet of sidewalk (lol), it just felt staged.

Plus points: the vibe of this entire production is very distinct and memorable. It feels cold, detached from reality and yet it's set in the heart of one of the most populous cities on Earth. Most of it seems colorless, but lighting is extreme and dynamic so it never seems bland. So even though my review may make this flick seem ho-hum at best, there's enough going on artistically to keep your attention going. It's too bad that the writing and character development didn't seem on par with the look and feel. Also I hated the music. It's like the rejected composer from all the Bank of America commercials got to play for 90 minutes.

I would recommend "Chronically Metropolitan" to watch on a lazy afternoon, or if you like movies about the problems of the New York bourgeoisie like "The Squid and the Whale" or "The Door in the Floor".

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English | Italian

Release Date:

4 August 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Chronically Metropolitan See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

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