“Dean” is a Garden State riff. I hate to knock Demetri Martin on his first feature directing effort, but it’s hard to shake it. What Martin does better is keep the pace up and he leans into his artwork. The quick shifts and ability not to linger on a person or event keeps everything exciting. Still, there’s something almost childish about his inability to make any lasting connections in the film. Meanwhile, Kevin Kline just kills it as his dad.
Gillian Jacobs and Mary Steenburgen do well as the people that try to help Demetri Martin along his way. Still, it feels like a 90 minute build for Demetri Martin to finally make peace with his mother’s death. How is this not Garden State again? Oh yeah, because you don’t have Natalie Portman elevating the material far higher than possible. Still, this is the kind of fun romantic comedy indie film that used to keep Miramax afloat in the 1990s. Pick it up if you want, but I’d recommend a stream.
- 2.40:1 standard definition transfer
- Dolby Digital 5.1