“I’m 34 years old. I have nothing. I can’t start from scratch, don’t you understand?” – Anders, Oslo, August 31st.
Oslo, August 31st; Jeff, Who Lives at Home; The Comedy; Dark Horse; The Silver Linings Playbook
Cinema from a few different corners seems to be riding a wave of aging ennui. A couple of the year’s most extreme protagonists have trouble growing up.
Oslo follows a 34 year-old recovering drug addict who feels like he’s already missed his shot at normalcy, or better, or worse, or something.
Dark Horse follows a moronic, lazy man-child as he grapples with first love. (Sorry, that’s the best I can do.)
The Comedy follows Tim Heidecker’s pathologically insincere uber-hipster as he… lives, barely.
Jeff, Who Lives at Home is a fantasy revolving around a pothead who lives with his mom.
The Silver Linings Playbook follows a mentally ill man’s struggle to save his marriage after serving time at an institution. He could also be 34.
All these characters are male protagonists, at least two are mentally ill, three live with their parents, all five have unstable housing situations, all are tasked– to some degree, and perhaps least of all in The Comedy– with growing-up.
The trend is also notable then for its considerable genre straddling. We’ve got a kinda austere, philosophical meditation, two hardcore cringe comedies, a fantasy/rom-com, and a plain rom-com. I don’t know what this means, or what it’s about, but keep your eyes peeled. Also leave your thoughts for explanations, theories, or further candidates in the comments.