Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Review: All About Who You Know

Release date: May 12, 2020
Running time: 111 minutes
Starring: Dylan Everett, Niamh Wilson, Stephen Joffe, David Hewlett

All About Who You Know follows contrarian, aspiring screenwriter Cole (Everett) who has a chance meeting with Haley (Wilson), the daughter of Cole's screenwriting idol.  After he realizes who she is, he writes his most ambitious script to date by plotting out a rom-com relationship with Haley, all in the hopes of meeting her legendary father and getting a leg up in showbiz.  However, Cole's need to always buck trends and not be derivative, while also trying to capture all the perfect scenes, leads to issues for this young couple and his master plan.

All About Who You Know feels very fresh.  The humor is definitely younger and it has the vibe of a hungry and aspiring writer.  Cole's character is one part likable and one part insufferable.  Everett does a great job as the main character, an egotistical megalomaniac who also is a surprisingly good guy at times.  It is an interesting contradiction, and one that serves the main character well.  And although Cole himself doesn't seem to evolve much (despite showing growth throughout the film) he is still a fun character to be in the head of for this delightfully refreshing film.  Haley is very likable as Cole's love interest, but very early on establishes herself as not a damsel in distress.  She is a fun character that challenges Cole at every turn.  Joffe is likewise wonderful as Cole's best friend Austin, who is also an aspiring writer and trying to make it the old fashioned way.  And Haley's father / Cole's idol is perfectly played by Hewlett, who portrays the complicated man which makes you admire and despise him at the same time.  Each character is far more complicated than you would expect from the normal Hollywood tropes, and it is fun to see them interact.  

And as you would expect with a movie about an aspiring writer who hates tropes, this film has sharp, funny writing.  The dialogue, although having a tendency to go on monologues, is still entertaining and fun to listen to.  The film rails against the Hollywood tropes of rom-coms, but then features many of them (albeit with slight twists).  It is a really fresh perspective and one that fits perfectly with this cast and subject matter.  And although the story does get overly complicated and downright awkward towards the end, partly due to Cole and his constant need to avoid tropes, it is still a very entertaining story.  And despite an slightly unsatisfying ending, it is also exactly the ending you would expect from this journey. 

All About Who You Know offers a fresh perspective, with complicated characters and enjoyable writing in this unconventional anti Hollywood rom-com.   

Watch it.
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