Not Fade Away ★★½


Ironic title alert. I was about to call this coming-of-age period piece about a boy and his garage band generic, but it isn't, really—somehow, it's distinctive without ever being remotely interesting. Perhaps it's distinctive by virtue of being so uninteresting. Cultural signifiers come fast and furious (though Chase handles the passage of time so poorly that I was startled by a scene in a movie theater showing Blowup, as I thought it was still 1964), overwhelming these nondescript kids and their petty feuds and passions; it's like a less overtly politicized, aggressively American version of Assayas' Something in the Air. Closing coup de cinéma would probably thrill if it didn't seem to have wandered in from some other, much bolder movie.