I wouldn't look to Kicking and Screaming for the answer. Rather, the movie is a hilarious example of what not to do when you graduate. The guys, Chet (Eric Stoltz), Grover (Josh Hamilton), Max (Chris Eigeman), Skippy (Jason Wiles), and the show-stealing Otis (Carlos Jacott), can't seem to give up the college life. They hang out at college bars, woo freshmen, and sneak back into classes. Otis can't even seem to get out of his pajamas.
Women are only half the problem. Jane (Olivia d'Abo) is Grover's lover, but she jets off for Prague after graduation, leaving Grover in despair. Miami (Parker Posey) is Skippy's trouble-prone, flighty girlfriend. And Kate (Cara Buono) is Max's latest attachment, a cafeteria worker he picks up while haggling over an extra potato.
The plot basically follows the series of perpetual indecisions that plague the friends, an ironic reality that most of us seem to face at some point in our lives. The so-called "touching" moments are unfortunately pretty drab, and the mushy flashbacks where Jane and Grover's fledgling romance is built up are real snoozers. The film is rightfully a study of misery. This happiness stuff just gets in the way.
The acting and direction by Noah Baumbach (who also wrote the script) are perfectly dead-on. Carlos Jacott should gain a lot of notice (and at least one of the various movie awards) for his outrageously droll part as Otis. If the script had avoided the over-sentimentality, the film would have been even better. And oddly, a real ending seems to be mysteriously lacking.
Kicking and Screaming pokes fun at the pretense and phoniness of virtually every college clique imaginable. If you're one of those sensitive types, you'll probably be offended at some point along the way. But hey, look on the bright side, at least you'll have it better than these guys.
Production compaines: Castleberg Productions, Sandollar Productions
Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5
Director: Noah Baumbach
Producer: Joel Castleberg
Screenwriter: Noah Baumbach
Starring: Josh Hamilton as Grover, Olivia d'Abo as Jane, Carlos Jacott as Otis, Chris Eigeman as Max, Eric Stoltz as Chet, Jason Wiles as Skippy, Parker Posey as Miami, Samuel Gould as Pete, Catherine Kellner as Gail, Jonathan Baumbach as Professor, Peter Czernin as Lester, Eliza Roberts as Josselyn, Christopher Reed as Friedrich, Noah Baumbach as Danny, Dean Cameron as Zach, Elliott Gould as Grover's Dad, David DeLuise as Bouncer, Cara Buono as Kate, Perrey Reeves as Amy, Lauren Katz as Stephanie, John Lehr as Louis
Also starring: Joel Castleberg