Not Quite Adults (Tampoco Tan Grandes) opens with our lead Lola (Paula Reca) attempting to steal sunglasses from a convenience store. The film never explains why Lola does this, she does make another attempt later in on, and it’s not explained then either.
In fact, it’s a plot point that really amounts to nothing at all. The only reason I mention it is because it is the perfect representation of everything that is wrong with this film. So much happens to so little effect in so little time.
The plot is nothing new. Within the rom-com/dramedy structure, we follow Lola and her ex-boyfriend Teo (Andres Ciavaglia) on a road trip from Buenos Aires 400km south to Mar Del Plata. They embark on this road trip to spread Lola’s fathers’ ashes on the land he granted her in his will. Along with them are Teo’s sister Rita (María Canale) and her father’s partner Natalio (Miguel Ángel Solá), whom she never met while her dad was still alive. Altogether this makes for a story that from the get-go had no plans of being anything but completely predictable and generic.
And that’s exactly what it is. At every turn, the script opts for the most obvious solutions to the most overdone of problems. In doing this, all Not Quite Adults achieves is managing to be entirely unimpactful and forgettable. Which is unfortunate because the humour is there, one or two genuinely funny moments do occur where things really could have expanded, but nothing comes of it. It’s impossible to class this film as a missed opportunity, but it certainly could have been more entertaining than it ended up being.
However, it is the dramatic aspects that are Not Quite Adults’ most significant failure — none of them land how director Federico Sosa intended. Every time the narrative drifts to a more serious moment, which is fairly frequently, it only amounts to a close up of someone being sad for a few seconds. It feels like every serious scene is truncated and shallow as if they are there only because they had to be.
Which begs the question, if the film wasn’t going to take the drama seriously, why does it make up half of the film? Each of the four characters we follow has something going wrong in their lives around them, and each of them has one or more scenes where they are confronted by it. Rita’s arc is by far the worst. Her issues don’t even get resolved despite being the most pressing. Instead, the film uses her as a minor catalyst to get the main couple to get back together.
All this imbalance comes down to Sosa. He never manages to find any balance between the comedy or the drama. In the process, he only managed to make both aspects of the film fall flat and the entertainment value with it. The cast was game to make something of this, they manage to spark some chemistry every now and then, but it just isn’t enough for how weak and uneven their characters are. Overall it seems to lack passion, and I take no pleasure in saying that, but when you watch something this run of the mill that still doesn’t function as a film, what else is there to say?
Not Quite Adults tosses mud at the wall to see what sticks and misses the wall. With hollow characters and a generic plot, this film is not quite good enough for 2019.
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