SXSW 2017 Review: LEMON

By Jan Hamilton

Brett Gelman stars as a middle aged actor who teaches a drama class, while seeking acting jobs, in this mostly funny film. Isaac is a humorless man whose life is all suddenly going wrong.  Ramona, his blind girlfriend of ten years, seems to be losing interest, and his career is lagging. His Jewish family is made up of an odd assortment of characters with many problems. At his class, Michael Cera plays Alex, an actor who is now getting the attention and work that Isaac craves. Isaac blatantly favors Alex in class over all others, even though others are doing good work. At one of his jobs Isaac meets Cleo (Nia Long), an attractive African American woman, and starts dating her after his girlfriend leaves him for another man. When we see Ramona later with her new boyfriend, she looks one hundred percent better and seems totally happy. When Cleo takes Isaac to a picnic given by her family members, Isaac seems uncomfortable. How this hapless guy comes to grips with his devolving life makes for an amusing film. You won’t be very sympathetic with this man, but that’s the point.  Michael Cera is very funny in his role and Brett Gelman does a good job in carrying the film.

The bottom line: an amusing little film with some new and interesting characters.

Director:  Janicza Bravo
Executive Producer:  Christine Vachon, David Hinojosa,
Brett Gelman, Janicza Bravo
Producer:  Paul Bernon, David Bernon, Sam Slater,
Han West, Houston King
Screenwriter: Janicza Bravo, Brett Gelman
Cinematographer: Jason McCormick
Editor: Joi McMillon
Production Designer: Grace Alie
Sound Designer: Brian Bender
Music: Heather Christian
Principal Cast: Brett Gelman, Judy Greer, Michael Cera,
Nia Long, Shiri Appleby, Rhea Perlman, Fred Melamed,
Gillian Jacobs, Martin Starr, David Paymer
Additional Credits: Additional Editor: Christi Leftwich
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