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Film Review: “Standing Up, Falling Down” (2019) ★★★★


Photo by Shout! Studios – © Shout! Studios

Don’t we like watching goofy romantic comedies? Movies that talk about friendship, inspire us, make us laugh and cry at the same time? “Standing Up, Falling Down”, written by Peter Hoare and directed by Matt Ratner, may not qualify as a festival film but it certainly does qualify to earn a place in our heart.

Scott (Ben Schwartz) returns back to Long Island after his big plans did not work quite the way he expected. He is not fond of moving back to live with his parents (Debra Monk and Kevin Dunn) or being teased by his sister, Grace (Grace Gummer). However, he remains optimistic that his dream of becoming a professional and successful comedian will come true. Meeting an elderly man, Marty (Billy Crystal) changes his perspective; he begins writing jokes and even hopes to get back his ex-girlfriend Becky (Eloise Mumford), not realizing that all these times he had been looking in the wrong direction.

Scott’s father keeps telling him, “you better work as a mailman”, while Marty reminds the hopeless dreamer that “The only thing real is regret”. Having two suggestions combined together is almost like a complicated math problem for Scott to solve. For instance, as he begins bonding with Marty, the two smoke together, drink together, mess up with their time but never forget to share their experience or talking about their past. It does not take much to figure out that, Marty, a dermatologist, has his reasons to live alone, drink too much, and be neglected by his children. But what we know is that Marty never gives up to earn their trust.

Scott, in the meantime, does the same but in a different way. “Nobody knows about life. Everyone moves at the wrong speed,” says Marty at some point when his newly made friend was paying attention at the right time. All these, their relationship, subtle and cute friendship begins developing in such a way towards the end that you will start to care about them more than you could possibly imagine. And that is the beauty of this deeply moving comedy – when it knows how to bring the chemistry between two men and teach each other about life which they didn’t know before. And of course, in the end, they have two different paths to end up with and each and every one of them will melt your heart, and possibly even make you cry.

In the end, “Standing Up, Falling Down” is one of those films that has the right title to tell you everything about it. It has two characters who will stand up and even fall. But at the end of the day, they both will lift their spirits and reach their goal to be where they always want to. Is it about love? Yes! It’s also about friendship, family, and sacrifices that some of them will have to make to place their heart where it needs to be. So waste no time and surely catch the film once it’s out because it’s totally worth more than it seems.

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