The emotional shrapnel of a divorce scars a family of writers in A Place for Me. An acclaimed author (Greg Kinnear) and his teenage children (Lily Collins and Nat Wolff) are silently suffering after mum (Jennifer Connelly) leaves for another man.
Across three generations of writers, success seems to come easily and publishing deals are handed out like hotel biscuits. The main characters have an air of pompousness and talk like they’ve got all the right answers, but none of it seems genuine and it’s superficial. These are people with big houses and even bigger problems and it’s hard to feel sympathetic. Sure, the characters have the Hollywood flawed virtuoso gene, but they are always one wine glass swivel away from complete arrogance. There is no sense of the process for these characters to channel their anguish and everything is taken for granted behind a haze of entitlement. When debunking the myth that writing is easy, screenwriter/novelist William Goldman said, "the one thing we have, everyone who writes or paints or composes, is our pain – pain that we deal with by huddling away in our pits and getting through the best we can".
The cast delivers tiny bites of charm, mainly in the form of Kinnear and a brief appearance from Logan Lermann as a love interest. Elsewhere, it’s mostly a mediocre walk through the breakdown of a marriage; dad can’t move on, the daughter avoids intimacy and the son does drugs. These are the obstacles that need to be overcome and the solutions stick out like bright flashing neon signs, pointing to the obvious, and thus making A Place for Me as dysfunctional as its family of scribblers.
Cameron Williams - follow Cam on Twitter here: @popcornjunkies