Formerly titled Laggies; Say When makes a relatable idea un-relatable by spinning it in an absurd and weird story. Keira Knightley plays Megan, a late twenty-something who feels a little left behind in her group of old school mates. Whilst her friends are going through business ventures, marriage and pregnancy; Megan spends her days waving a sign for her father’s company when she can’t get away with spending the day in front of the television. When her long term boyfriend proposes, it sends her in a panic and after meeting a group of alcohol-seeking teens at a local supermarket, ends up befriending one of them and hiding out at her house for a week. With her fiancé and friends unaware of her true whereabouts, she takes the time to try and sort her life out and finds herself starting to fall for the father of her new found friend.
Sam Rockwell. That’s about the best thing about Say When, a film that is tonally off the mark and is confused by what it is trying to say. That isn’t to say the rest of the cast aren’t great and all round everybody puts in passable, albeit cashed in performances. The problem here lies with the script and it’s failure in giving enough substance to the lead character’s mentality. Rather than dig deep into the root cause of Megan’s reluctance to “grow up”, we are just expected to go along with the story that even Sam Rockwell’s character thinks weird. Without any motivation, Megan comes across as obnoxious and annoying; a trait she actually shares with the majority of her fellow players. The same can be said in terms of the growing relationship between Knightley and Rockwell which is so under-written to the point of unbelievability, and feels shoe horned into the film just for the sake of it.
Say When managed to get three laughs from me but when I think back now, I can’t even remember what they were. Whilst the subject matter of growing up is an interesting one, it’s been done better in other films. I wish I had liked it more but unfortunately it is a tepid, forgettable and ultimately failed attempt at indie dramedy.
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