Title: Mr. Roosevelt
Release Date: 22 November 2017
Director: Noël Wells
Production Company: Beachside Films
Emily Martin (played by writer and director Noël Wells) is a comic performer most known for silly YouTube videos who’s trying to make it big in Los Angeles. She’s called back to her hometown of Austin by her ex-boyfriend Nick with news that her cat Mr. Roosevelt is dying. Nick is still living in the same house they once shared, now much more spiffed up, and now sharing it with his new girlfriend Celeste and they invite Emily to stay with them.
Celeste seems genuinely kind but also far too perfect to be bearable. Emily struggles with how Nick seems to have become domesticated, yet her own “wild” life is not satisfying her either. Over the course of the movie we see her hang out, go to parties, generally muck things up, and repeatedly bailed out by her new friend Jen (played by Daniella Pineda and one of my favorite actors/characters in the movie)
The themes of identity and maturity, as well as the shaky hand-held camera work, are reminiscent of the movies Momma’s Man and Frances Ha. Like those movies, the protagonist frequently comes off as selfish, and the whole effort of the film has an air of smugness that keeps it from being more fully satisfying to watch. Mr. Roosevelt also has significantly more gratuitous shots of topless women than you’d expect from a woman-directed/woman-written film. Ultimately, this movie is good but not great.