Boy’s Weekend Debauchery: A Review of Joshy

Joshy_film_poster

Joshy came out just this year and I have been looking forward to it for a while so I decided to review it. It was written and Directed by Josh Baena and it stars Thomas Middleditch, Adam Pally, Nick Kroll, and Alex Ross Perry.

This is a movie I watched simply because of the actors featuring in it. You have Thomas Middleditch from Silicon Valley playing titular role, Adam Pally from Happy Endings, Nick Kroll from the Kroll Show, Jenny Slate from Obvious Child, Cameos from Aubrey Plaza, Jake Johnson, Alison Brie, and Joe Swanberg. It’s a cast full of funny and talented people. But the movie itself has some problems.

At the beginning of the movie Joshy is a little directionless. Within the first five minutes of the movie we meet Josh and his fiance, played by Alison Brie, and watch them interact and then within minutes she kills herself. Then we set off into a cottage in Ojai, California with a few of Josh’s closest pals for a “boy’s weekend” in place of the bachelor party weekend they would have had. The movie feels a little rushed with all of these things happening in such a short time.

When we get to the cottage and the boys are going to party all weekend, it sounds like fun, but where is that going to take us? After some time goes by and we are joined by Jenny Slates character, Jodi, something resembling a plot starts to form.

Throughout the first act of the film we are given little indicators of what role each character plays in the story. Every guy in the core group of friends is just trying to keep Josh happy. Eric (Nick Kroll) is the guy who’s just trying to keep the party going. Ari (Adam Pally) is there to give Josh emotional support. Adam (Alex Ross Perry) is there to be a wet blanket. Greg (Brett Gelman) is a tag along dealing with his own turmoil. And through these indicators we learn a little bit more about their characters and their lives. But as we see, these guys don’t all have their shit together. While they argue throughout the movie about what to do during their weekend away they try to maintain a veil of lighthearted fun for their friend Josh.

And then at the beginning of the third act Josh’s Fiance, Rachel’s (Alison Brie) parents show up at the cottage to clear the air with Josh right in the middle of some boy’s weekend debauchery. After cleaning up the cottage Josh sits down with Rachel’s parents who try to force a murder confession out of him. And all of the sudden you sort of understand what this movie is really about. Not only is this guy dealing with his fiancé’s suicide but her parents are convinced that he killed her. And his friends, who are all trying to help him through this, don’t quite know how to help him.

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Once you finally learn all of these characters back-stories and why they in this cottage in the first place the movie starts to make sense. Every character is hurting and they all come to this cottage to heal themselves. And the best thing that this movie does is that it delivers on that, at the end of the movie you feel more optimistic about these characters than you did going into the movie.

As a film, Joshy ambles around a little too slowly at its beginning, but by the end really comes together as a cohesive, thought provoking film, it has a great cast and great cameos. It’s definitely a worthwhile watch.

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