Bastards of Young (2013) – By Philip Smolen

Jesse (Gregory Perri) has just been thrown out of his apartment by his wife of 10 years Jen (Amelia Martin). Depressed and angry, he crashes at the apartment of his two best friends Kevin (Christopher J. Doming) and Julie (Lucy Walters). The only problem is that it’s Halloween and the couple is having their annual Halloween bash that night. Worse, Kevin and Julie have invited Jen. So, it’s guaranteed that Jesse will have an awkward time at the party. As the night progresses, every one of the 30-somethings gathered at the apartment will come to the realization that their lives are changing and that it’s impossible to go back to the way things once were.

I really thought I was going to hate this movie. When I read the synopsis for it on the Vimeo website, my heart sank. Not another whiny overly dramatic look at 30-somethings who are having a hard time facing their futures!  Please, just get over it!

So I’m delighted to say that “Bastards of Young” rocks! Perhaps taking its name from the song by The Replacements, It is a well written, often brilliant look at the awkward life phases people find themselves in. It takes a little time to get up to speed, but once it does, you will find yourself swept up in the trials and tribulations of these young adults. They’re all good hearted and want the best for each other, and repeatedly try to come to grips with the rapid changes they are going through. Jesse and Jen realize that they got married way too young and are now paying the price for their over-zealousness. Kevin and Julie have just found out that they are expecting their first child and they are both terribly frightened. Even Lawrence the Lothario (Peter O’Leary) is beginning to realize that his life is going nowhere.

Unlike some films, where protagonists make life altering changes and go for their dreams, writer/director Josiah Signor is saying that maybe, just maybe, there are no definitive answers in life and that maybe it’s ok to not be sure of relationships. That’s the way life is and you just have to press on.

Signor has assembled a wonderful cast who are real and believable. Gregory Perri and Amelia Martin register the proper amount of anxiety as the newly separated couple. They’re unsure about where they should go, but only know that they can’t go back to the way things were. Christopher J. Doming and Lucy Walters are great as Kevin and Julie. They’re the rock solid foundation of the group, but now that they know they’re expecting, their insecurities begin to rise to the surface. Peter O’Leary, Stephanie Brait and Jessica Rothe all turn in excellent supporting performances as well.

“Bastards of Young” is a cool relationship flick that isn’t overbearing and doesn’t wear out its emotional welcome. It’s a refreshing change of pace from the standard 30-something dramas.

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