(director/writer: Cooper Raiff; cinematographer: Rachel Klein; editors: Autumn Dea, Cooper Raiff; music: Jack Kraus; cast: Cooper Raiff (Alex Malmquist), Dylan Gelula (Maggie Hill), Amy Landecker (Mom), Logan Miller(Sam), Olivia Welch (Georgia), Abby Quinn (Georgia), Joy Sunday (Sophia), Ashley Padilla (DG), Tre Hall (Garrett); Runtime: 100; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Divi Crockett, Will Youmans; IFC FilmsCMR Productions; 2020)

It proves to be more sensitive than you would think from its vulgar title.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A promising first feature coming-of-age film by star/writer/director Cooper Raiff.

Alex Malmquist (Cooper Raiff) is a 19-year-old Occidental College freshman who is not mature enough to be away from his Texas home while in a Los Angeles college. His roommate Sam (Logan Miller) is an opposite free-spirited personality, who is not interested in anything but partying. When Alex gets over his crying fits one weekend, he attends a few college parties at the house referred to in the title and his life changes.

At the party,  the coed Georgia (
Abby Quinn) takes Alex back to his dorm room for some quickie sex, but Alex gets frightened and calls his upset but sympathetic mom (Amy Landecker). Meanwhile the screen goes alternatively from his drama to the one that shows a sophomore RA named Maggie Hill (Dylan Gelula) going through her crisis. It’s hinted they would make a good couple.
Maggie is just getting over a
liaison that didn’t work. When she spots the slightly younger Alex back in the dorm after his sexual calamity with Georgia, she invites him to hang-out in her room. While he yearns for romance she pounces on him for sex.

Though clumsily executed the modest youth comedy seems like it caught for real how some immature students act and it gets its laughs from it. But it proves to be more sensitive than you would think from its vulgar title. Its main characters are both emotionally vulnerable: Abe tells his co-star he has no friends. While Maggie retorts ”
My turtle died today.”

The film leaves us with the impression these two might be on the way to growing up: Alex has to be more extroverted and Maggie has to find out more about what she means by intimacy. The rather simple themed film might not be dazzling, but seems promising as a cautionary tale of growing up in today’s hectic world.

Shithouse movie

REVIEWED ON 10/26/2020  GRADE: B-