Rating: 1 out of 5
How To Be is a British indie by first time feature film director, Oliver Irving. The film centres around a purposeless and pathetic aspiring musician named Art (Robert Pattinson) who has diagnosed himself as suffering from a “quarterlife crisis” caused by his emotionally unavailable parents and a general lack of direction in life.
Art wallows and weeps in a self-imposed depression, much like Ian Curtis in Control, just without the charisma, intensity or talent (you know, the redeeming stuff) that Curtis possessed. The cheerless youth then discovers a self-help book called “It’s Not Your Fault” that he thinks will turn his life around.
The book’s quack author, Dr. Levi Ellington (Powell Jones) is then enlisted by Art (at an exorbitant fee) to become his personal psychiatrist, so to speak, and so begins Art’s painfully unfunny and monotonous journey to self realization.
I think this movie is supposed to be a comedy, I’m not particularly sure, seeing as there’s nothing remotely funny about it. Look I get dry British humour (I love The Office UK), but the funnies in How To Be isn’t dry, its positively arid.
At a brief 87 minutes, you would assume that the film’s pithy running time would provide some comfort – not so much. After only 15 minutes, I found myself looking at my watch, like I was back in secondary school, waiting for class to end.
This was the kind of film where instead of paying attention to Robert Pattinson’s awkward “acting” or Oliver Irving’s pretentiously amateurish direction, I found myself becoming so restless and so tired from the tedium of what lay before me that my critical brain switched off.
How To Be is a film so fatiguing and so utterly devoid of merit that I found myself questioning why God would invent eyes and yet allow this movie to be made. Wait, I take that back, How To Be isn’t a film, it’s frankly barely passable as a film class project (probably made by a turgid kid with the personality of Eeyore).
There are scenes that drag on with no energy or focus, stretches where the camera is stationary (this film could have been directed by a tripod stand), pointless stylistic flourishes that add no value whatsoever to the story and just torturously terrible dialogue (that is, when you can actually hear what the characters are saying).
Much like How To Be’s protagonist, this movie is drudging and soporific. I am convinced Irving conceived this movie as some sort of social experiment to test the limits of human endurance to banality. In fact, this movie was so bad that halfway through, I found myself wishing I watching Twilight instead.
About Hidzir Junaini
Hidzir Junaini, aka inSing.com's Movie Lover, is 23-years-old and a wealthy playboy billionaire by day and a caped crusader by night. Only one of those is true. He’s actually a freelance writer, blogger, full-time film buff and some-time socially awkward nerd. He also writes about music, restaurants and nightlife for Metrowize Asia.
Hidzir is the winner of the inaugural inSing Movie Lover contest that garnered over 1,000 participants. The Movie Lover contest is a search for a candidate who possesses outstanding passion for movies and a talent for writing engaging movie reviews.