A capable cast can’t elevate this mediocre coming-of-age comedy about an outspoken prep-school teenager (Graham Phillips) whose dysfunctional family includes his new-age Arizona mother (Vera Farmiga), her stoner landscaper (David Duchovny) who has pet goats, and his estranged father (Ty Burrell) who lives in Washington, D.C. The dynamics make for some amusing moments during the resulting journey of self-discovery, but the script by Mark Poirier (Smart People), based on his novel, is overloaded with supporting characters with heightened quirks at the expense of realistic grounding. Phillips is appealing enough, even if he seems too old. The ensemble includes Justin Kirk, Keri Russell and Anthony Anderson. (Rated R, 93 minutes).
Nitro Circus: The Movie
The stunt-filled MTV reality show gets the big-screen treatment with what essentially is an extended episode involving show creator Travis Pastrana and his daredevil buddies staging some of the most ridiculous and dangerous stunts they can imagine (jumping tricycles between the roofs of adjacent high-rise apartment buildings, as an extreme example). Fans of the group will probably enjoy the audacity and insane skill involved in most of the high-octane mayhem, as well as some of the 3D camerawork. It’s a cousin of sorts to the Jackass movies, although the banter between the group lacks much wit or humor. Then again, that’s hardly the point. (Rated PG-13, 88 minutes).
2 Days in New York
The latest romantic comedy from director Julie Delpy might technically be a follow-up to her 2 Days in Paris (2007), but the setting makes it feel as though she’s unsuccessfully channeling Woody Allen instead. Delpy’s character, a French photographer and single mother, is now living in Manhattan with a new boyfriend (Chris Rock), preparing for an important exhibit when her quirky relatives pay a visit from Paris and bring one of her ex-boyfriends in tow. Some of the resulting character-based humor hits the mark, although the film too often stumbles through broad and predictable gags about language and cultural barriers. The result is more forced than charming. (Rated R, 96 minutes).