Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Review: "Steve Chong Finds Out That Suicide Is A Bad Idea"

An existential crisis always makes for some good drama. We've all been there, I think; Why am I here? What's the point? What do I do now? Sometimes, this kind of deep thinking can lead to an even deeper sadness (especially if you realize how insignificant most of this is), which inevitably leads to a final question - Why shouldn't I end it all?

Steve Chong is asking that final question. With a string of bad luck (from dropping a plate of lasagna to getting fired) and a rather flat and distant attitude towards most people, suicide seems to make some sense to him. But, at the last minute, he decides to hold off for at least one more weekend - a hangout with his three pals at a lake house - to maybe find the answer he's been looking for.

I can relate a bit to Steve's problems. No, I've never considered suicide (nor do I strangely own a gun) but I am pretty shy and have suffered from depression. Medicine helps, but I've learned that the best way to break out of your shell is to act - to go out and do what you're too timid to do (exposure therapy, it's called). Steve's three friends, who discover his intentions during a night of drinking, slowly try to break down his wall and get him to live a bit.

But, what I can't relate to is Steve's attitude towards changing. He wants a reason not to kill himself, but doesn't seem willing to change. For example, when presented with an opportunity to loosen up with a girl he likes - a situation set up by his friends - he essentially blows off her attempts at a deep conversation. Someone once asked me if I enjoyed being depressed and stressed out. I don't, but maybe Steve just can't help it - maybe this is who he is, and he's just frustrated, when he should just accept himself. His friends already have.

Currently a work in progress, this is a nice little independent film. I really liked how, unlike some other indy films I've seen, this one doesn't overly rely on obnoxious humor or the word "fuck" - everybody in it acts, talks and feels like real people. Real people, real problems - that's all I ever wanted from a movie.

More about the strengths of friendship than suicide itself, I recommend this be viewed once it hits the road.

3/5 *'s

* I noticed on the movie's IMDB page that one of the assigned keywords for it was "long title". This made me chuckle, as the title is pretty long and a bit spoiler-ish. Maybe shorten it a bit? Just something to consider.   

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