(director/writer: Matt Kane; screenwriter: Marc Underhill; cinematographer: Natasha Mullan; editor: Marc Underhill; music: Ward Hake; cast: Richard Kind (Felix Greystone), Christine Donlon (Commercial Auggie), Larisa Oleynik (Hillary), Susan Blackwell (Anne), Steven M. Robertson (Ben), Christen Harper (Auggie), James C. Victor (Jack), Simone Policano (Grace); Runtime: 81; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: John Henry Hinkel, Matt Kane, Robert Sharman, Marc Underhill; Samuel Goldwyn Films; 2019)

“It runs out of ideas before it calls it quits.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

First-time feature film director Matt Kane helms a heartfelt character study on aging, dealing with new technology for everyday life and maintaining relationships during sour times. Its comedy is built around misunderstandings, but it never has enough substance for a feature film.The former actor Kane and Marc Underhill co-write the uneven screenplay, that at times is clever.

An Auggie is an AI creation of augmented reality smart glasses, whereby only the wearer can see the unreal personal assistant.

The architect Felix Greystone (Richard Kind) is forced to take an early retirement. The company staff at an unhappy going away party give him a departing present of smart eyeglasses that project a virtual companion devoted only to him that’s called Auggie (Christen Harper).

At the same time his wife Anne (Susan Blackwell) receives a workplace promotion that calls for a hefty raise and longer working hours. Meanwhile their grown-up daughter Grace (Simone Policano) plans on moving in with her boyfriend Ben (Steven M. Robertson).

Problems arise when the now neglected Felix feels useless around the house and feels most comfortable spending his time with the very attractive Auggie.

It plays out as a gentle marriage drama, pointing out how high tech can affect a modern relationship.There are some mild chuckles to be had, but the script lacks any wit. But even if I found it to be well-acted, it fails to hold up to rational scrutiny even if it takes on some complex issues. It also doesn’t finish well, as it runs out of ideas before it calls it quits but nevertheless keeps running on empty.

kind, blackwell and policano

REVIEWED ON 11/9/2019     GRADE: C+