Kieran Culkin continues his assault on the slightly skewered drama-comedies, this time co-starring with the likes of Claire Danes, Jeff Goldblum, Amanda Peet, Ryan Phillippe, Bill Pullman, Susan Sarandon and even his little brother Rory. Unfortunately, "Igby Goes Down" has little going for it.
Culkin was last seen in "The Dangerous Lives of Alter Boys," a somewhat funny drama that had some edge. Here, he looks to continue building his career with a story about a troubled young rich kid who runs away to New York and finds himself in some interesting circumstances. The premise is good, but it lacks anything really entertaining or intriguing.
"Igby Goes Down" has its moments, but other than that it is just a strange little film with no real purpose. It never seems as though Culkin really learns from his mistakes, and the movie is almost more of a snapshot than a story; it never really resolves anything, but instead just shows a segment into people's lives. Peet plays a sexually-enticing arist/drug addict who is having an affair with Culkin's godfather (Goldblum). Phillippe, though with a different haircut, plays the typical character of a snotty rich kid (a la "Cruel Intentions"). Claire Danes has perhaps the most interesting of characters, but the movie just forgets about her after a while. I needed something more conclusive.
"Igby Goes Down" has some things going for it, but in the end is never able to wrap anything together into a nice little package. Perhaps it was the intent of the film, but more than likely the filmmakers never sat down and really analyzed what exactly they wanted this movie to be about. Is it about how Culkin finally becomes a man? Is it just about one of his summers? Is it about how he hates his mother so much? Is it a comedy? Is it a drama? Who knows, who cares, I say.
Though intriguing at times and not without potential, "Igby Goes Down" never amounts to much of anything, which is quite disappointing considering the talent involved.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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