While Baby Driver got the most marketing out of any 2017 film named after a Paul Simon song, the one which surprised me the most was THE ONLY LIVING BOY IN NEW YORK. Sure, Baby Driver was enjoyable, but I had seen the trailers. I enjoy Edgar Wright, so I knew it was going to be a good ride. But when I saw the trailer for a movie about a 20-something guy who found out his father was having an affair, it struck me as something that could be interesting, but didn’t do much to cement itself on my radar. So after having watched something else on Amazon Prime Video, I consider myself lucky to have almost randomly selected it as my second content consumable for the evening.
Jeff Bridges, Pierce Brosnan, Kate Beckinsale and some names I had seen in cast lists before but never really noticed, helmed by a director whose name I should have recognized from the almost too obvious Amazing Spiderman connection, Marc WEBB. It’s primary selling point is that I recall the trailer looking mildly interesting and the runtime is listed at just shy of 90 minutes. On a night where I’m trying to make a dent in the 20+ films I need to see in the next 27 days, it fit the bill.
What a pleasant surprise that it’s actually an interesting story, once everything wraps up in the third act.
The heart of this film comes from the bond which forms between the young man whose world is starting to slowly crumble around him and his eccentric neighbor. The alcoholic is full of sage wisdom and quotable quips as the protagonist laments his poor fortunes of unrequited love and his inability to convince his father’s mistress to end the affair.
It’s a coming-of-age tale the likes of which I don’t remember having seen, and it’s bolstered considerably by its third act when the crumbling pieces all fall into place. It’s not for everyone, but it’s better than the attention it’s getting. Anyone who liked The Graduate or 500 Days Of Summer should consider giving this a whirl. It’s a good use of about 90 minutes… and possibly a second viewing, which feels necessary after knowing where the chips are falling ahead of time.
My rating: 81 out of 100