The Only Living Boy in New York ★★★

THE ONLY LIVING BOY IN NEW YORK is probably the lesser of the two films from Marc Webb this year, but I don't think it's the disaster that critics have made it out to be. In many ways I agree with the male fantasy that runs this film, which could be viewed as myopic and shallow. But since the film is through the lens of a younger Thomas, who is simply reacting to the chaos around him, I'm willing to forgive that superficiality for the layers underneath.

The melodrama that drives the plot is admittedly weak, but there is something to be said about how adolescence is shaped by the people in authority over us and how their selfish actions have immediate impacts. The characters at play here are very messy and indulgent in that regard. But I was still compelled by those twist and turns, I did sense an authenticity to it, despite a few contrivances.

Perhaps the biggest reason I responded to this film is that it's one of the few of late to not waste Jeff Bridge's talent. He's very good, and the scene where he reveals his true identity is potent.

In our grading scale, I'd give this a B. At worst, a B-.