Kelly & Cal DVD Review

     Actors: Juliette Lewis, Jonny Weston
  • Director: Jen McGowan
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: December 30, 2014
  • Run Time: 110 minutes



            There is a sincere honesty in both the writing and the portrayal of Kelly (Juliette Lewis) in Kelly & Cal, however derivative, predictable and unpleasant as the film itself may be. The real honesty is that there are some narratives that I would simply prefer not to see, both for lack of enjoyment and originality, regardless of how well they are executed. Juliette Lewis gives a wholly convincing performance as punk rocker-turned suburban mom, but the screenplay by Amy Lowe Starbin left a bad taste in my mouth.


    Do we really need another film about an adult lusting after a teenager in an attempt to escape growing up and growing old? Kelly is a new mother who moved to the suburbs to please her husband and his family, who often stop by for judgmental comments about her parenting skills. It is no surprise that Kelly is unhappy, but the film loses all ability to sympathize with her when she begins an uncomfortable relationship with her seventeen-year-old neighbor. Cal is newly handicapped and frustrated with his life, but lusting after Kelly while she fools herself into believing that they are just friends gives him a distraction.


    There are a lot of conversations about dreams, art and music, but it is clear that all of Cal’s actions are high school courting rituals. Kelly is the unsympathetic one, because she abuses this attention to feel attractive again in replacement of her husband’s missing attention since the pregnancy. The fact that the filmmakers work very hard to make Kelly sympathetic is more frustrating that effective, and it leaves the film little chance for adequate resolution.


    The DVD special features include a featurette and a trailer.


    Entertainment Value: 6/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 5/10

    Historical Significance:  3/10

    Special Features: 4/10



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