Review Round-Up : 'At Middleton' Is Simple And Sweet With Some Star Performances

Andy Garcia and Vera Farmiga star in AdamRodgers' romantic comedyAt Middleton, as two seemingly opposite people who bond while accompanying their children on a university campus tour. The pair end up breaking away from the pack to reminisce together about their own college days. 

Andy Garcia and Vera Farmiga in At MiddletonAndy Garcia and Vera Farmiga in At Middleton

The film is perhaps best described by Stephen Harbour in The Hollywood Reporter who calls it a “modern-day Brief Encounter.” He goes on to praise the stars saying it “benefits from sparkling dialogue and splendid acting.”  Yes most critics agree that the somewhat simple film owes a lot to Garcia and Farmiga’s performances. Marshall Fine from Hollywood and Fine called it “a small film with big feelings, built around a pair of engaging performances", and added, "it's absolutely worth tracking down.”

However some critics felt the strength of Garcia and Farmiga's acting only served to further highlight the film’s basic flaws. Betsey Sharkey wrote in the Los Angeles Times, “Garcia and Farmiga have such an easy, natural chemistry that their on-screen sparkle helps mitigate the film's weaknesses. At others times, it serves to underscore what might have been. It's a feckless conundrum.” Linda Barnard from the Toronto Star felt similarly writing, “as pleasing as it is to watch these actors at work, they aren't able to elevate the lightweight script behind this classic stolen-moments romance that seems more suited to TV than the big screen.”

Most critics do seem to find the charm in the film, which sees two people just exploring their own past through talking to each other. Neil Genzlinger of New York Times summed it up best by calling At Middleton  “a bittersweet portrait of two people, who, in the process of helping their children choose a college, confront the emptiness of their respective marriages.”

Andy Garcia and Vera Farmiga in At MiddletonAndy Garcia and Vera Farmiga get close in At Middleton

Overall the reaction to At Middleton has been mostly positive. This simple romantic comedy will probably not leave a last impression, but its a very watchable movie with two fine leading performances.

At Middleton will have a limited US release on January 31st.

Watch the 'At Middleton' trailer:


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