Review: Me Him Her
PLOT: Cory ventures to L.A. to help a friend in crisis: recognizable TV star Brendan, who is gay but not willing to come out of the closet. Along the way he meets a lesbian who he becomes attracted to, and who becomes attracted to him.
REVIEW: Max Landis' ME HIM HER is like a sitcom that somehow took a full season's worth of lame material and made itself into a movie. No, thankfully don't have to sit through 24 half-hour episodes of this thing, but 100 minutes feels like quite a long time when a movie strains this desperately for laughs. And the laughs are of a silly, cutesy variety that, perhaps while good intentioned, left me colder than ice. Everything about it is trivial and outdated, none of it resonates. My first reaction after it was over was, and I wrote this down, "It seems like it was made by someone who only knows reality via reality television."
Dustin Milligan plays Cory, a punchline-spouting goofball who travels to L.A. to support his longtime friend Brendan (Luke Bracey), a semi-famous TV star who has recently come to the revelation that he's gay. Cory's supportive and encourages Brendan to get out there and, you know, be gay, but as his star continues to be on the rise, Brendan is understandably worried about what the truth will do to his image, not to mention his relationships with the rest of his family and friends. One night at a gay bar (Brendan doesn't mind going there as long as he's wearing a hoodie), Cory bumps into a similarly distressed Gabbi (Emily Meade), a lesbian who has just been viciously dumped by her girlfriend. Gabbi, vulnerable and feeling vengeful, takes a liking to Cory and sleeps with him in her car, but eventually regrets the decision, leaving Cory flailing wildly (literally) as he wonders what to do with his gay friend and gay new sorta-girlfriend.
The actors themselves shouldn't receive too much negativity. All three leads are affable enough, and come out the other side looking pretty good, despite the caricatures they've been handed. Bracey is the best of the lot, showing some real comedic chops and even proving he might be a decent leading man one day. (I failed to see him in the POINT BREAK remake.) Milligan is also a likable enough screen presence, although Cory's antics are so groan-worthy that he's a tough guy to root for sometimes. (This movie's idea of hilarity: Have Cory act gay at a gay pride parade to divert attention from his gay friend. It's funny cuz he's acting all gay!) Meade too makes the most of a character who isn't often believable or even consistent; she gives Gabbi some real vulnerability.
But the kudos for ME HIM HER have to stop right around there. For a comedy, it's hardly funny, and I feel the need to bring up the sitcom comparison yet again because most of the film's comedic beats feel like they stepped out of a failed NBC series from the 90s. Everything about the movie is so insufferably "quirky," from the characters to the sound effects to the fact that subtitles and title cards find themselves flying across the screen at times. It's hyper and exhausting. It's also obsessed with jokes about L.A. that only people from L.A. will find funny - and maybe not even then. (Isn't L.A. weird and big and filled with superficial people?!) There are several jokes repeated ad nauseam, like how everyone has known Brendan is gay except him. Haha? The movie ends with a sword fight for some reason; it's the last gasp of a feature that doesn't know what else to do.
It's not a mean-spirited film, so perhaps I'm being too hard on it. It's going for something that resembles whimsical, but never comes close to capturing that vibe because it's trying way too hard to be zany. Ever know someone who thought you'd like them more if they acted eccentric and wild and they achieved the exact opposite effect? That's ME HIM HER.