Any Flow to the Film is Broken
Alonzo Mosley (also available at Blogcritics.org) on I, Curmudgeon directed by Alan Zweig, screened at the Jacksonville Film Festival:“I actually had really high hopes for this one, but it all kind of fell flat for me. I think one of the biggest mistakes of the film is that there are never any subtitles to indicate who the person is being interviewed. This may seem like a small thing, but any flow to the film is broken by the fact that we have no bearings with any of these people. I only recognized Comic book writer Harvey Pekar, former Kids in the Hall Scott Thompson, and Andy Rooney (who appears in exactly one clip compared to the multiples of all the others, and in that one only expresses bewilderment at what Zweig is trying to do here).”
I'm guessing that Zweig didn't address the audience after the showing of the film, as he did at the Vancouver International Film Festival. There he explained that he didn't want subtitles because he felt that what the people had to say was much more important than who they were.
Further commenting on the film: “So what we have is a roundtable of people bitching about their lives of bitching. Zweig does try to put some form to the work on occasion, such as his repeated question to several subjects about the "Emperor Has No Clothes" story, but it's not enough. There are amusing anecdotes and stories here (most memorable is one guy describing how he could start developing a positive outlook on life if it weren't for the existence of jetskis), but it's not enough to hold it together.”
Again missing the point: Zweig was trying to get across the idea that bitching about everything is a waste of time. He tells the story of he was entering the third act of his life having just spent the second act not enjoying it. Rather than comment any further, I direct readers to the links at the bottom of my review of the movie.