Lise’s review published on Letterboxd:
I can't think of anyone who wanted to love this more than I did.
Some of the dialogue is spot on.
The scene with the mother driving away from the airport.
The final scene.
A few scenes in between.
The performances were great.
For the most part it felt like Boyhood - it hit too many notes, and played them all staccato instead of lingering a little to allow us time to feel and digest.
Some of the dialogue was too "written text", i.e., on paper it sounds like something clever one might say, but when actually delivered it doesn't sound like it comes from a real fully alive person.
Most of the dialogue could have come from the same person. Actually, in that sense it was very much like a Woody Allen film. Some might put this in the Good category.
I felt no attachment whatsoever to any of the characters. Maybe that's just the result of the points above.
The Maybe I Got it Wrong:
Maybe the short scenes hitting all the notes were on purpose to coincide with adolescence where feeling like it is the end of the world can turn on a dime depending on a word or a look from someone.
I hope I got it wrong and I hope I can appreciate it more on a rewatch, looking at it with that perspective.
<edit March 3>
I've thought about it and I think I know the problem: the film was too "this is how I remember adolescence" as opposed to "this is what it was like". Too generalized, in a way. That could have worked if the film was presented that way, ie if our hidden narrator was an adult looking back. But the film was presented "live" so to speak, and so hitting all the 'teenage notes' in short scenes just didn't seem authentic to me. I think it might have been best to focus on just a short period of time before going to college (like maybe 1 or 2 weeks) or maybe even from graduation and the rest of the summer. This could have given us a look into a real person's life before leaving for college instead of hitting all the teenage hotspots.