“Yes” – Movie Review: A Devastating Look at the World of Acting
Yes offered an indie movie that gave a very intimate look at how devastating the acting business can be for young talent.
I was provided a free screener of Yes for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.
As someone familiar with actor Nolan Gould (Modern Family), I was looking forward to watching Yes ever since I saw the trailer. The film’s already received a lot of awards. So, I had a feeling I was going to enjoy this particular movie.
The official description reads:
Yes tells the story of alcoholic, pill-popping, washed up, ex-child star Patrick Nolan (Tim Realbuto), who is begrudgingly dragged from his nearly uninhabitable apartment by his sister Annie (Jenna Leigh Green) to see his niece in her high school production of ‘Romeo and Juliet.’ Starring as Romeo is 17-year-old Jeremiah (Nolan Gould), who immediately catches Patrick’s eye. Patrick, who was involved in a scandal involving a minor years earlier (which ruined his career and his life), decides to mentor Jeremiah. What begins as an innocent acting lesson turns into something much more dangerous, and a love affair of two surprisingly common minds. The destruction, or salvation, of the two main characters will last a lifetime.
The acting from Gould as Jeremiah and Realbuto as Patrick was quite impressive. The two delivered quite a lot during the approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes long running time. We got to see them be angry, sad, confused, happy, and vulnerable.
As for the plot, it might not be for everyone. I mentioned in my previous coverage of Yes that telling a story (with queer elements) focusing on the connection between an adult and a 17-year-old can be quite tricky. The good news is that this film’s aware of the problematic nature of such a relationship. With Patrick serving as Jeremiah’s acting teacher, the situation could easily get out of hand. Even Patrick’s sister acknowledged it.
In my opinion, due to not being able to achieve what he wanted to as an actor, Patrick’s desire to live through Jeremiah made the entire situation quite complicated. The similarities between the two characters inflated the already precarious dynamic.
Patrick’s backstory involving an accusation of sexual abuse and his own childhood trauma helped make every scene he shared with Jeremiah be quite intense. I think the film left it up to the audience to determine if Patrick’s guilty or not. However, it’s made quite clear that he’s a troubled character who wasn’t willing to get the help he’s desperately in need of.
I think people interested in the world of acting will appreciate the layers in Yes. There are countless unfortunate examples of the acting business casting aside child actors once they’re older and the damage caused to said kids due to not having a proper support system. Then there’s the child abuse that many try to hide. While Yes doesn’t give any answers, it does bring these issues to light. It talks about realizing how you don’t always get what you want in life and how the inability to address such a matter can lead to a downward spiral.
Based on Realbuto’s Off-Broadway play, it’s definitely not a happy movie. However, the character-centric nature of the plot (supported by impressive acting moments) kept me intrigued. Yes does involve suicide. So, keep that in mind if you decide to check it out.
Released by Stonecutter, Yes is currently available on Comcast, Cox, Charter, iTunes, Directv, Amazon Video Direct, Verizon Fios, Dish Network, Google Play.
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Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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