Thursday, August 6, 2020

I Used To Go Here Review: An Emotional Story About Life And Success

Release date: August 7, 2020
Running time: 85 minutes
Starring:  Gillian Jacobs, Hannah Marks, Jemaine Clement

Following the launch of her new novel, 35-year-old writer Kate (Jacobs) is invited to speak at her alma matter by her former professor David (Clement). After accepting the invitation, she finds that much has changed in her college but a lot is also as she remembers it.  As she reminisces about her college experiences Kate finds herself deeply enmeshed in the lives of a group of college students.

This movie feels like a very personal experience, and a lot of that is Gillian Jacob's great performance.  She is fantastic as the young writer who is just starting out in her career, full of confidence at her first success but also unsure if that success is deserved.  Kate is a very vulnerable person at the time, dealing with plenty of personal issues as well as trying to promote her book.  The nostalgia she experiences returning to her college town is easily relatable and something that I imagine a lot of young professionals go through. And although Jacobs is the main draw of the film, the rest of the cast make this a memorable and enjoyable film.  Jermaine Clement is always great and he is in his element as David.  He is charming and supportive, someone who encouraged Kate early on and still encourages her to this day. The chemistry between the two is easily apparent, but it is the rest of the cast that provide a lot of the heart in this film.  When Kate goes back to her old college, she befriends a group of fun and quirky college students who form the brunt of the interactions.  From relatable Hugo (Josh Wiggins), to quirky but good natured Animal (Forrest Goodluck), and hilariously awkward Tall Brandon (Brandon Daley), this cast of characters help Kate to work through her own issues and grow as a person.  They also provide a lot of perspective in the film, as they are all young, full of hope and ideas, and look up to the successful Kate.

And the story of I Used to Go Here is one that was relatable to me and I imagine relatable to anyone that has revisited their old haunts and experienced the changes of time and age.  The story highlights success, ego, confidence, and the need to relate to others.  The story is wonderfully told with plenty of drama, emotion, and relatable moments.  It is a lovely emotional drama about life, success, and what it takes to make it.  The story itself has a slow, determined progression that gives you plenty of time to meet and enjoy the characters.  It builds towards a larger event that seems to come out of nowhere but does provide some fun hi-jinks.  And the final ending of the film wraps up a lot of Kate's questions while maintaining a little ambiguity.  If there is a negative in the film, it is that there is an event that happens towards the end of the movie that I just didn't think had to happen and wasn't necessary for the character's development.  But other than that, this is a wonderful, personal story about a young artist's first taste of success and what that means for her personally and professionally.

I Used To Go Here is a wonderfully personal story, with an emotional performance by Gillian Jacobs, a quirky, funny cast, and a heartfelt message about life and success.

Watch it.
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