Wally Spivak is at his wit's end. A frustrated, unpublished author who's surrounded by a group of underachieving buddies and pretentious hipsters in the gentrifying Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, Wally is stuck in a rut and can't get out. But when he strikes up an unlikely friendship with an engaged couple from the west side, Wally starts to see things in an entirely different way - and his life takes a turn for the better...
Spivak is a tiny ugly man who is constantly humiliated by life. His only ambition, to be a writer, is thwarted by his biggest critic: himself, as he writes and rewrites the same novel, to the cruel delight of the mean people around him. Single on a Valentine's Day, he is suddenly approached by a gorgeous girl who asks him to spend the night with her. This changes his life, to his great chagrin and ultimately delight, transforming him from a hateful frustrated little man into a relaxed and positive success.
I liked the way it was played. I have to say most of the scenes were really painful, as the actors all did very well and you could understand the main character's confusion, fear, shame and pain. The moral of the story has to be that you're doing it to yourself, as a bunch of beautiful rich people attempt again and again to make his life better, while he just fears that he doesn't deserve it.
While Michael Bacall did great as the titular character, I would say that most of the movie was carried by Robert Kazinsky's Chuck, a guy so sickeningly positive that you can't but doubt his good honest intentions. It's a strange movie to see. If Spivak wasn't so monstrously unlovable, the movie would have been more credible and easier to swallow. As such, I can only perceive it as a writer's dream, free of all pretenses. Or maybe that's my inner frustrated little man, unable to accept the possible beauty of the world. You decide, as you watch the film. It provides more questions than answers, and that's the whole point.
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