This is definitely a different sort of film, it presents a meandering journey where one woman is attempting to find something to grasp onto as her world falls apart. It’s perhaps not that dramatic, but touches upon the aspect of trying to find one’s self again. It opens with a call about the release of a book, this was the first published effort by Kate (Gillian Jacobs). The sales aren’t going very well, so her book tour ends up being cancelled.
This is when another opportunity arises, an older favorite teacher from her college days calls. This is David (Jemaine Clement), he congratulates Kate on the book and invites her to give a speech to his class. This kick starts the journey where she ends up exploring places from her past, meeting a number of strange individuals and desperately trying to find something to cling onto as things continue to get worse. There’s not necessarily a pure focus in regards to the goals here.
It’s about Kate going forward and experiencing things from her youth as she attempts to find some sort of new meaning. It’s an interesting message that is trickled in throughout the film, and I think they get that across well. I just wish this was more concise in that delivery. It feels like a selection of mismatched moments where again, things meander. It seemed like some plot points sort of skip across, and the comedic parts really didn’t land all that well. It hits the emotional beats, and that’s largely due to a solid performance from Jacobs.
I think there’s some decent talent in this cast, but they’re perhaps underutilized. Jacobs really takes point in this one, and she delivers on the awkwardness that’s required for this type of situation. I found her connections to the various youth interesting, though some moments a tad bizarre. It was like they touched upon the age gap, while not really leaning entirely on it.
You get that she’s trying to find something by doing this; which she does, it’s just the various lives she touches upon where that didn’t quite hit the mark for me. Every character aside from the lead really felt like just small extras to push forward what she was doing. I did like what they did with April (Hannah Marks), but they should have centered more of the focus between the parallels these two had.
Those moments were there, and I loved their latter interaction. It just would have meant more, with a deeper direct set of comparisons throughout. It’s almost like this needed some more breathing room at times. I generally liked how this was shot, in terms of setting the scene. At times it did seem a bit too intimate and the lighting could have been better during some of the darker moments. Just to make those areas feel more special.
I Used to Go Here had an interesting concept to it, one that was delivered in a generally solid way. Some aspects could have had more focus, as there wasn’t necessarily anything too memorable about this one. I liked the end goal, and the message it had. It might seem like it ends suddenly, which it totally does.
Though with that ending, it showcases a clear direction and an understanding of what the lead learned throughout this meandering venture. I would have liked some more key stand out moments throughout, as the real key point was a crossing of paths that could have been built up for an even deeper impact. I liked what they did with that moment, though I can’t help but feel there was more potential for it to go further.
I would have also liked more of a look at just how strange it is to see someone so out of the group they’re exploring things with. I suppose a final note would be that the comedic aspect doesn’t really hit the mark here. A couple laughs I suppose, but it ends up being more heartfelt and trying to deliver a message about finding your bearings after things fall apart.
I Used to Go Here Review at Home with Streamed Viewing
Screening Provided by Taro PR