Say When (2014)


This romantic comedy, titled for American audiences as the more awfully funky ‘Laggies’ is a so-so film. I mean this in the sense that it’s neither bad or great, it does as any expected film of this genre does and with a good enough direction from Lynn Shelton there’s the required amount of love and laughs for the desired audience member.

28 years old and still stuck with old school friends and her prom sweetheart, Megan (Keira Knightley) is taken aback when her boyfriend Anthony (Mark Webber) proposes to her. In her still childish ways of not taking responsibilities or growing up she decides to go away for a week to try and fathom this big news. On the way, Megan crosses paths and buys booze for underage kids led by Annika (Chloe Grace Moretz) who she soon becomes a friend of, leading her to meet Annika’s dad Craig (Sam Rockwell) where the option of facing adulthood and a future could be more real.

I doubt it’s any massive spoiler to say that it’s pretty clear what direction Megan ends up in, when faced with a new hunky figure and the old squeeze tying her down to past school memories. As I mentioned in the opening, there’s enough to keep the target audience satisfied, I am not in that demographic and so I can quite boldly say I wasn’t satisfied. A few moments make you smile and I cannot deny the empathy for Megan is there but it’s nothing special, a standard rom-com with no flair or huge comedy to tide you over.

Though maybe there’s some funny in there somewhere, as the screen I shared with a mere other two, cracked up on multiple occasions. I seriously don’t know what they found so funny about a floating turtle but by heck did those two girls laugh enough to make it seem like there was more people watching the film. This movie’s saving grace is Sam Rockwell who just owns that look on his face that makes you prepare to bust your guts laughing, you don’t but he’s got that cool quirky single dad down to a T and he’s both funny and adorable as a loner left by ‘Boardwalk Empire’s’ Gretchen Mol.

There’s sadly nothing outstanding or even plainly interesting in the film, the music by Benjamin Gibbard is already forgotten, the attempts at laugh out loud moments never really fly, most are in fact pretty cringe; wedding dance or Knightley sign flipper dancing jump to mind as awkward moments. It would have been alright if the end had differed from the usual cliched romantic comedy story arcs but alas. All I ask is for a film in this category to come along and do something hugely significant to make the genre fresh and exciting.

Keira Knightley is not an actress I’m a fan of anyway, but even I can appreciate she does a fine job of the slacker role needed in her character, to be honest I can even comment that she’s an actress I’m surprised took on this script considering how mediocre and plodding it is. Her high pitched accent doesn’t grate and works to an advantage in selling dumb layabout Megan more. Sam Rockwell is the spotlight and gem of the piece even without too much to do, he made me feel less terrible about coming out of seeing this movie. Chloe Grace Moretz has proved on more than one occasion that she has something, that spark, but Annika is not a character with much intrigue or substance for her to shine in.

Every now and then a shred of charm bounds onto the screen, a cool shiny modern art hanging fits the frame with a brilliant touch or the script begins floating towards something attention grabbing but on the most part this film is predictable tedium without any attempt to re-write the rom-com book. A lagging movie.



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