Monday, June 30, 2014

Palo Alto

Director: Gia Coppola
Writers: Gia Coppola, James Franco
Stars: Emma Roberts (April), Nat Wolff (Fred), Jack Kilmer (Teddy), Val Kilmer (Stewart), Chris Messina (Mitch)

Palo Alto is based on a book of the same name written by James Franco and released in 2010. Whereas the book was a collection of separate short stories, the movie tells a more cohesive story of a group of teens as they interact with one another. The main focus of the film is April, a shy and virginal soccer star. There's a mutual interest between her and Teddy, but both are too shy to do anything. Instead, she receives advances from her older soccer coach and teacher, Mr. B (Franco). Teddy, meanwhile, spends much of his time with Fred, who is impulsive and dangerous; though Teddy has to deal with his own legal issues. Fred spends his own time away from Teddy cavorting with, and ultimately embarrassing Emily (Zoe Levin), the girl who's become the school slut.

While neither is great, the film greatly improves upon some of the weaknesses in the book. It tones down the shock value (a bit) and feels more cohesive.

Mini soundtrack:

Devonté Hynes - "Palo Alto"
Blood Orange - "You're Not Good Enough"

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