Cavemen

Well Go USA Entertainment

Unrated

Jaded Playboy Rethinks His Womanizing Ways In Boys’ Club Comedy

Dean (Skylar Austin) lives inL.A.with three buddies in a warehouse converted into a windowless loft they call “The Cave.” The appellation is apropos since these 20-something slackers behave like cavemen, spending most of their free time at local bars trying to lure women back to their bachelors’ lair for wanton liaisons with no strings attached.

For instance, African-American Andre (Dayo Okeniyi) has been sleeping with a luscious Latina (Fernanda Romero) as well as an attractive Asian (Victoria Park) who have no idea that each other exists. That state of affairs is a recipe for disaster destined to blow up in the two-timing brother’s face.

Meanwhile, Andre’s roommates, Jay (Chad Michael Murray) and Pete (Kenny Wormald), have been behaving just as badly, inspired by the macho mantra, “Get out there and take what’s yours.” Dean, however, has finally tired of the string of shallow conquests after sharing pneumatic bliss with Sara (Megan Stevenson), a cutie-pie who means nothing more to him than another notch in the bedpost.

Over lunch the next day, he cries on the proverbial shoulders of his BFF Tess (Camille Belle) and his nephew Jimmy (Kaden Gibson) about wanting to find a meaningful relationship. Because the cozy confidantes sitting at the table seem very well-suited, the precocious nine-year-old asks whether they’ve ever dated.

Dean and Tess awkwardly admit that they once kissed long ago, but purely by accident. However, instead of now considering each other romantically, the obvious soul mates continue to look elsewhere for a love connection.

Soon, Tess starts sleeping with inveterate womanizer Jay, which leaves the audience impatiently wondering when Dean will wake up and confess his deep feelings before it’s too late, at which point the question will be whether she’s inclined to reciprocate.

Those are the pivotal plot points driving Cavemen, an amusing romantic comedy exploring the mating habits of male members of the Millennial Generation in superficial fashion. Written and directed by Herschel Faber, the otherwise entertaining picture suffers from a flaw reflected in its failure to develop its characters beyond recognizable clichés.

Best thought of as a 21st century update of the Little Rascals’ He-Man Woman Hater’s Club episode where Alfalfa wises up and woos Darla, his Neanderthal pals’ protestations notwithstanding.

 

Very Good (2.5 stars)

Running time: 86 minutes

 

Demi-Soeur (Half-Sister)

Rialto Pictures/StudioCanal

Unrated

Poignant Road Flick Features Autistic Orphan In Search Of Family

Nenette (Josiane Balasko) never left home because of her mental disability. So, you can imagine the shock when her mother, the loving, lifelong caretaker who had shielded her from the cruel world for over a half-century, suddenly passes away.

Finding herself in desperate straits, the autistic orphan decides to search for Antoine Berard, the long-lost father she’s never known. So, with her pet turtle Tootie in tow, Nenette sets out on foot forAngers, the town where he’s rumored to run the local pharmacy.

En route, however, she becomes lost in the woods and is lucky to stumble upon punk rock ravers inclined not only to protect her from the elements but to give Nenette a ride to her destination. Unfortunately, the disheveled drifter soon discovers that her dad has been dead for over 15 years.

The good news is that the business was inherited by his son, Paul (Michel Blanc), a half-brother Nenette didn’t know she had. The bad news is that he’s an irascible misanthrope who doesn’t get along with his customers, his staff, or even his own family.

Worse, when Nenette shows up unannounced, the miserly curmudgeon is initially more worried about protecting his inheritance than his vulnerable sibling’s welfare. Therefore, he starts circling the wagons instead of welcoming her with open arms.

First, he consults an attorney about cutting her out of their father’s estate. Then, he hastily makes arrangements to ship her right back where she came from.

That plan goes totally awry when well-meaning Nanette accidentally spikes his coffee with a couple of hits of Ecstasy. The mood-altering drug puts Paul into a euphoric state for an eventful day of redemption during which he proceeds to mend fences with estranged friends and relatives. Thus, the burning question becomes whether the narcotic will have a temporary or salutary effect on him.

Written and directed by, and starring Josiane Balasko, Demi-Soeur is a touching tale which might best described as an engaging blend of Nebraska (2013) and Amelie (2001). For, Nenette exhibits the same dogged determination as Bruce Dern in the former film, as well the endearing naiveté which enabled Audrey Tautou’s title character’s ability to touch the hearts of everyone she encountered in the latter.

A poignant parable which puts what matters most in proper perspective.

 

Very Good (3 stars)

In French with subtitles

Running time: 86 minutes

 

 

OPENING THIS WEEK

Kam’s Kapsules:

For movies opening January 31, 2014

 

Labor Day (PG-13 for sexuality, mature themes and brief violence) Jason Reitman wrote and directed this adaptation of the Joyce Maynard best seller of the same name about a depressed single mom (Kate Winslet) who, along with her son (Gattlin Griffith), ends up kidnapped by the escaped con (Josh Brolin) she unwittingly offers a ride. Cast includes Tobey Maguire, James Van Der Beek and Maika Monroe.

 

That Awkward Moment (R for sexuality and pervasive profanity) Romantic comedy revolving around three confirmed bachelors (Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller) who make a pact to remain single only to have the promise tested when two of them fall in love. With Imogen Poots, Mackenzie Davis and Jessica Lucas.

 

At Middleton (R for sexuality and drug use) Romantic romp revolving around the antics of a couple strangers (Andy Garcia and Vera Farmiga) who meet and fall in love while their kids are taking a tour of a college campus. With Taissa Farmiga, Tom Skerritt and Spencer Lofranco.

 

Best Night Ever (R for profanity, graphic nudity, drug use, crude humor and pervasive profanity) Parody of the road trip genre about a bride-to-be (Desiree Hall) who gets more than she bargained for when she ventures to Vegas with her bridesmaids for a bawdy bachelorette party. Co-starring Samantha Colburn, Eddie Ritchard, Crista Flanagan and Jenny Lin.

 

Brightest Star (Unrated) Romantic dramedy about a jilted college grad (Chris Lowell) who tries to make himself over to win back his uptight ex (Rose McIver), only to meet a free-spirited bohemian (Jessica Szohr) who likes him just as he is. Support cast includes Allison Janney, Clark Gregg and Peter Jacobson.

 

Jobriath A.D. (Unrated) “It’s better to flame out than to fade away” biopic recounting the brief career of Bruce Wayne Campbell (1946-1983), aka Jobriath, the first openly gay rock star, and the first to die of AIDS.

 

Love Is In The Air (Unrated) Transatlantic comedy about a lawyer (Nicolas Bedos) who makes the most of a second shot at romance with his ex-girlfriend (Ludivine Sagnier) when he finds himself seated next to her on a flight from New York to Paris. With Jonathan Cohen, Arnaud Ducret and Brigitte Catillon. (In French and English subtitles)

 

Somewhere Slow (Unrated) Road flick about a fugitive from justice (Jessalyn Gilsig) who is befriended by a teen drifter (Graham Patrick Martin) she meets while on the run after a botched convenience store robbery. With Robert Forster, Lindsay Crouse and David Constabile.

 

Tim’s Vermeer (PG-13 for profanity) History of art documentary, directed by Raymond Joseph Teller (mute half of Penn & Teller), tracing inventor Tim Jenison’s attempt to decipher how 17th century Dutch master Johannes Vermeer managed to paint so realistically over a century before the invention of photography.

 

The Wait (R for sexuality, profanity, drug use and brief nudity) Paranormal thriller about a pair of grieving sisters (Jena Malone and Chloe Sevigny) who disagree about whether or not to bury their recently deceased mother after receiving an enigmatic phone call from a psychic assuring them that she’s about to be resurrected. With Luke Grimes, Devon Gearhart and Michael O’Keefe.

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