Elsewhere Movie Review: A Feminist Take on Love, Loss & Finding Home
If you are yearning for a heartwarming flick that offers sweet epiphanies and a fresh take on worn out romantic comedy tropes, then an Elsewhere movie viewing just might be the perfect option for your next girls night out or girls night in.
Hitting theaters and available On Demand everywhere (as of January 24, 2020), “Elsewhere” tells the story of Bruno ( Aden Young ) who is grieving the loss of his wife Lydia. Now two years after Lydia’s death, everyone around him, including his parents (Beau Bridges and Jackie Weaver) and best friend (Ken Jeong), are ready for him to buck up an move on. But, Bruno can’t let go, and is thrown into turmoil when his in-laws reclaim the house he built with his wife.
Evicted and forced to live with his parents, Bruno continues to secretly take care of the house until the day he finds that new owner, Marie (Parker Posey), has moved in. Desperate to keep his connection with his former home, he poses as a contractor and offers to help Marie update the house. As the two work side-by-side making updates room-by-room it’s not just the house that gets fixed and begins to change…
While Elsewhere is predictable in many ways, what struck me as wonderfully surprising about this sometimes funny and sometimes sad movie is its new take on old characters and situations you’ve seen in the romantic comedies and dramedies that have come before.
This surprisingly female-forward flick doesn’t take it easy on its sulky protagonist. Even without watching the movie, you know him…you’ve seen him a million times before. He can’t see past his own pain long enough to acknowledge or pay respect to those who are supporting him and reaching out to him. While other movies try to convince viewers to feel sorry for him and forgive his douchebaggery, “Elsewhere” holds him accountable, as do the female characters affected by is actions.
From the woman he treats poorly on a date set up by his mother to Marie, who falls victim to his selfish actions, all of the women in this film are given the dignity and respect they deserve. Their characters aren’t reduced to a shallow take on worn out female stereotypes (think the scorned and desperate divorcee). Each is thoughtfully developed and empowered with some amount of depth and a surprising amount of strength.
The true beauty of this film and it’s ending is having the opportunity to watch what happens when men are given boundaries and held accountable by the women who care for them as friends, lovers, and family.
RELEASE DATE: Select theaters and on demand January 24
RUN TIME: 98 minutes
STARRING: Ken Jeong, Parker Posey, Jackie Tohn, Beau Bridges , Kathleen Munroe, Aden Young, Jacki Weaver
DIRECTOR/WRITER: Hernan Jimenez
PRODUCERS: Chris Cole, J. Todd Harris
THEATERS and Available ON DEMAND:
Chicago, GQT Randall Batavia
Cleveland, Atlas Cinemas Diamond Center
Denver, Harkins Northfield 18
Houston, Premiere Renaissance 15
Los Angeles, Laemmle Royal
Minneapolis, Galaxy Emagine Lakeville 21
Phoenix, Harkins Valley Art Tempe
San Francisco, Four Star Theatre
Seattle, Galaxy Monroe 12