Andie Offerman (Matreya Scarrwener) moves back in with her parents after dropping out of university. Spending time reconnecting with friends and meeting new acquaintances, she contemplates the future and her place in the world.
My expectations for this were not astronomically high. Another millennial mumblecore debut feature covering well trodden ground. But it turned out this rather hasty preconception was, in fact, delightfully unwarranted. I was pleasantly surprised by just how competently David Laurence and John Romyn’s film was, well structured and with a tone which deftly balanced the tribulations of navigating young adult life with both humour and subtlety.
The film’s events are made up of a collage of scenes showing various aspects of Andie’s life. Episodic slices of life as opposed to a formal narrative structure. Intertitles, giving specific dates as the days roll by, further enhance the sense of this being more like a chronicle of her experiences.
Flitting between home life, temporary jobs, socialising with friends, interacting with people in the community, Andie’s life is actually quite compelling. Even her more humdrum moments, in which little happens, are interesting to watch. This is largely down to Scarrwener’s honest portrayal of an anxious young woman, well-meaning but adrift.
This is also the case for the rest of the ensemble cast. Performances are naturalistic, unforced and totally believable. The domestic scenes in particular accurately illustrate the antagonistic, frustrating and affectionate qualities of family relationships. There is a good contrast between Andie’s parents, the mother Karen (Dolly Scarr) being tougher and more pushy with her daughter, while the father Dean (Michael Wener) encourages a more free-spirited outlook on life. Another thing which is refreshing to see is less of the usual brattish or narcissistic character stereotypes prevalent in films of the same style. Conflicts, when they arise, are still dynamic but generally not malicious or bitchy, making for more layered characterisations with more depth.
It is enough simply to illustrate the film’s simple theme without having to have too much of a definitive point or message. It sets out merely to examine that difficult period in burgeoning adult life where certain decisions can effect the direction of one’s life. Or, in the words of one of Andie’s rather boorish peer’s, ‘Your trajectory’.
Andie The Great is a humorous, warmhearted drama with plenty of heart and soul. An enjoyable watch. If you’re satisfied with observational snapshots of a young person’s life in transition, as opposed to a more conventional narrative arc, then I would recommend it.
We hope you're enjoying BRWC. You should check us out on our social channels, subscribe to our newsletter, and tell your friends. BRWC is short for battleroyalewithcheese.