HOW IT ENDS
(director/writer: Zoe Lister-Jones/Daryl Wein; cinematographer: Tyler Beus/Daryl Wein; editor: Daryl Wein/Libby Cuenin; music: Ryan Miller; cast: Zoe Lister-Jones (Liza), Cailee Spaeny (Young Liza), Whitney Cummings (Mandy), Olivia Wilde (Ala), Fred Armisan (Manny), Nick Kroll (Tent Guy), Helen Hunt (Liza’s Mom), Finn Wolfhard (Ezra), Lamorne Morris (Larry), Tawny Newsome (Celine), Logan Marshall Green (Nate), Bobby Lee (Derrick), Glenn Howerton (Mysterious Man), Bradley Whitford (Liza’s Dad), Ayo Edebiri (Street Comedian), Sharon Van Etten (Street Singer), Paul W. Downs (Sal), Raymond Cham Jr. (Boombox Dancer), Lamorne Morris (Larry), Angelique Cabral (Larry’s Other Ex), Rob Huebel (Pro-recycler), Paul Scheer (Anti-recycler), Pauly Shore (Himself), Mary Elizabeth Ellis (Stoned Woman), Charlie Day (Stoned man), Colin Hanks (Scavenger Hunt Guy); Runtime: 82; MPAA Rating: NR; producers;Zoe Lister Jones, Daryl Wein; Mister Lister Films; 2021)
“There are a few laughs, but not enough for me to say the film did enough for me to enjoy it.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A somewhat optimistic, acceptable and gimmicky film made as a response to living in the early period of Covid -19. The film was shot in Los Angeles during the time of the pandemic lockdown. It’s a comedy/drama with a background apocalyptic tale, with the characters filmed in the same room (which didn’t happen at that time). The co-writers and co-directors are the husband-and-wife team of Zoe Lister-Jones (“Band-Aid”) and Daryl Wein (“White Rabbit”).
The protagonist is Liza (Zoe Lister-Jones, the co-director/writer). She’s in L.A., and has learned that the world will end that night. At night she’s been invited to a big bash ‘end of the world party.’ So the young adult spends the day visiting on foot (her car was stolen) select friends, ex-lovers, and family members, along with a young metaphysical girl (Cailee Spaeny), who we learn is her younger self. Liza wishes to cover her tracks and make sure she straightens out any unresolved problems before everything ends.
The film moves on with a series of scenes in a room where Liza and young Liza are together. There’s a catch, which seems unfair, that only certain people can see Young Liza. In this episodic tale, the people of note visited include her dad (Bradley Whitford), her mom (Helen Hunt), her daffy spiritual fortune teller ex-friend (Olivia Wilde), and her raunchy ex-boyfriend Larry (Lamorne Morris).
Various folks from the Human Giant/The League/comedy podcast orbit also show up, they include Fred Armisen, Nick Kroll, Paul Scheer, and Rob Huebel.
Also showing up are Glenn Howerton and his married “Always Sunny” co-stars Charlie Day and Mary Elizabeth Ellis.
There are a few laughs, but not enough for me to say the film did enough for me to enjoy it. The film had a Miranda July type vibe that won’t appeal to everyone (it didn’t appeal to me), but it has charm as a kooky film for those who are into that sort of thing. As far as being insightful for the main character in her quest to ‘know herself’ before Doomsday, it seems not to be thought out enough for that.
REVIEWED ON 3/25/2021 GRADE: C+