Old Dads (2023)

Old Dads (2023)

A series of unfunny, defensive complaints thinly disguised as a movie

4.0

Movie

United States of America
English
Comedy, Drama
2023
BILL BURR
Abbie Cobb, Angela Gulner, Bill Burr
102 min

TLDR

Old dad yells at cloud.

What it's about

Three men in their late-40s navigate feeling obsolete in their relationships and in a world that they haven't adjusted to.

The take

For almost the entirety of its runtime, Old Dads feels like it has something it's desperately trying to prove. But while the millennial generation and a newfound popular interest in political correctness are ripe for satire, this film chooses the lowest hanging fruit possible to make jokes about—inventing one senseless situation after another in order to laugh at people's "sensitivity" with little energy or wit. The main cast has tried and tested talent, but the material they're working with feels more artificial and whiny than truly perceptive of today's generational clashes. The movie tries to manufacture some sort of dramatic realization by the end, but it hardly changes the protagonists anyway. A film need not be PC to be good, of course, but it should at least stand for something instead of simply standing against so much.

What stands out

Bill Burr doesn't really leave a mark in the director's chair, but he proves that he has pretty strong dramatic instincts when he gets the opportunity to flex them. His character in Old Dads is unfortunately a halfhearted misanthrope for the most part—think a much more sedate version of Larry David's character in Curb Your Enthusiasm—but when he has to finally reckon with the consequences of his attitude, Burr sells the idea that his Jack Kelly has really just been caught in arrested development for years. It's not enough to save the movie by any means, but it's good work nonetheless.

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