Thursday, October 9, 2014

Movie Review: 'Leaving Circadia' is a Charmer

Evan Mathew Weinstein and Larisa Polonsky are love interests in "Leaving Circadia" (Courtesy of Facebook)
If you've left college in the past 10 years (graduated or otherwise), it's quite possible some of you have been "privy" to that sudden realization that the parties are over and it's time to join the real world.

You've studied for four years, or longer, getting a piece of paper saying you have accumulated enough knowledge in an area of study that you can use it in the work place. Or maybe college wasn't for you and now you're struggling to find a good job that doesn't need that (un)necessary bachelor's degree.

Then all of a sudden people you went to high school and/or college with are getting married and having kids and you're just like "huh, what have I been doing with my life?" And the next thing you know you're 30 and you don't know what you've done lately.

"Leaving Circadia" explores this post-college rut.

Written and directed by Evan Mathew Weinstein, this light-hearted comedy studies a small group of Brooklyn friends who try to break the Circadian Rhythm of late-20's life and coming to terms of accepting new love and responsibilities.

In a Brooklyn brownstone apartment building lives Tom (played by Weinstein), who is the charmingly harmless, and occasionally stoned, superintendent of the property. In between handing out promotional flyers people don't want on their cars and drawing fun pictures for neighboring kids, Tom spends his days with no focus until he meets a new tenant, Collette (Larisa Polonsky), whose presence opens him up into a more-focused and attentive guy.

In the same building is Tom's more in-tune friend Ray (Drew Seltzer), who is scrapping by freelancing and dealing with a girlfriend who wants him to find a stable job, which he can't do when his boss is "fucking Craigslist". Things change quickly for Ray when he gets his girlfriend pregnant and proposes to her.

And then there's Will and Collin, two guys who seem to enjoy being wild bachelors getting stoned and having as much fun as possible. Will's married, but he likes having his side piece.

The heart and soul of this movie is built around Tom, who might be a "stoner" but he's not lighting up, if at all, in the film. He's a happy-go-lucky adorkable guy with a warm aura that surrounds him, always wanting to be friendly to people even to those who seem annoyed by him. He's the guy you root for not because he's an underdog in any sense, he's just so likable. 

As his relationship with Collette seems to blossom, it goes through the typical movie romance plot with an argument and some kind of resolution, but who cares? Weinstein and Polonsky have great chemistry and interesting nuggets of dialogue between them that it's  enjoyable. They have a particularly charming scene together when the two are discussing his paintings which lie around his apartment and the ability to make a career out of what he deems to now be a hobby.

That's another one of the film's strong points: it comes off honestly with a warm hug and without any sort of preaching element about how life should be. It was a labor of love among Weinstein, Seltzer and actors Regi Huc (who plays a tenant named Davis) and Zach Griffiths (Will), college friends who used their personal experiences of trying to find their own big success after graduating from Rutger's film program in 2003.

It's a light film that may not bring anything new to the screen, but it's an enjoyable one at the very least. It has good pacing, enjoyable characters and conversational, easy dialogue. It may not answer the question "how do you deal with post-college life?", but it shows you that it doesn't have to be unbearable.

Rating: B

NOTE: "Leaving Circadia" will screen at Vinyl Revival in Lansdowne on Nov. 7. at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8 and $5 for students and can be purchased at The Roxy will feature the film as part of its Filmadelphia series on Nov. 18. Go to The Roxy's website for more information.
"Leaving Circardia" won Best in Feature and the audience choice award  after its Philadelphia premiere in The FirstGlance Philadelphia Film Festival on Oct. 17. 


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  2. Michael Cerveris glad someone is putting him in a movie he deserves it! amazing singer too!

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