kicking andscreaming

Starring: Josh Hamilton, Eric Stoltz, Elliott Gould, Olivia d’Abo, Carlos Jacott, Parker Posey, Jason Wiles

Directed by: Noah Baumbach

Synopsis: Following graduation, a handful of college students do nothing and talk about it wittily.

Writer and Director Noah Baumbach made his feature film debut with Kicking and Screaming, back in 1995. It was similar in vein to films such as Richard Linklater’s “Slackers” and “Dazed and Confused” in that it was a loose story about a group of people sat around talking and trying to get to grips with life. I can’t say it did much for me really.

I like the other movies that Baumbach has either directed (Squid and the Whale, Greenberg, Frances Ha) and helped write (The Life Aquatic, Fantastic Mr. Fox with Wes Anderson) but Kicking and Screaming just kind of left me a bit cold.

The film is about a group of friends who graduate from college and have decide upon their next venture. Will they still be friends, will they move away and take new paths? It’s a thinking man’s American Pie if you will! It’s all very middle class, which when done by someone like Anderson doesn’t pose me any problem at all because it is done with subtle humour and a lightness of touch, but the characters in this movie were just whiny and unsympathetic.

I couldn’t identify with these people, didn’t find them particularly humerous and had no longing whatsoever to spend any time with them. There were some bright spots, such as the flash backs with Hamilton and d’Abo. Mostly though the film just comes across as an inferior version of “Diner” or something.

It’s not a bad first effort by any means, but held up against the work Baumbach has subsequently gone on to make it pales in comparison. For me anyway.

2.5 clappers

About thomasjford

I like Movies and Music and most things popular culture.


  1. Abbi

    Think I’d rather watch American Pie.

  2. Thanks for your review, Tom. And thank you for not feeding my TBW list, this time. 😉

  3. I loved Squid and the Whale so much. Greenberg was nice, too. Sounds like Kicking and Screaming was appropriately named given it suggests immaturity.

    • Yeah, I didn’t find it particularly enthralling. But hey, it’s considered to be a decent enough film in some quarters so give it a go. I too loved Baumbach’s other stuff, just not this one.

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