London Film Festival Review: See You Next Tuesday (2013)

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Cast: , ,
Director: Drew Tobia
Country: USA
Genre: Comedy | Drama


Editor’s Notes: The following review is part of our coverage of the BFI London Film Festival. For more information on the festival visit http://www.bfi.org.uk/lff and follow the event on Twitter at @bfi. For an additional perspective, read Asher’s review (18/100).

With a title that alludes to the spelling of a certain profane expletive, See You Next Tuesday is the modern Juno of reality. Laced with uncomfortable scenes and unpleasant storylines, Drew Tobia’s scriptural and directorial offering doesn’t shy away from the ugly truth of teen pregnancy without the veil of middle class privilege to encase it. Despite being in the ‘laugh’ category of this year’s London Film Festival, the film is for the most part devoid of any remotely amusing moments, opting instead for a somewhat depressing and detailed study of the damage of dysfunctional relationships and the utter depravity faced by the main characters of the film. Suffering from severe genre confusion, See You Next Tuesday is difficult if impossible to laugh at and makes for a slightly unfulfilling and unpleasant cinematic experience that has little entertainment value or clear direction.

The lack of any discernible moral message decorates the film with an undeniably pointless ambience and upon the film’s conclusion, nothing has been learnt and there is nothing to take away from the film other than sheer disgust.

See_You_Next_Tuesday_2-1Heavily pregnant teen Mona (Eleanore Pienta) is introduced to the audience at the beginning of her slide from sanity. On the verge of a mental breakdown, Mona seeks solace from her disjointed family; her mother (Dana Eskelson) is a former drug addict and alcoholic with the mind of an immature teenager and her lesbian sister, no longer on speaking terms with her mother, is struggling in her own personal relationships because of unemployment and her tendency to lose all sense of rationale under the influence of alcohol. When the foundations of her life begin to disintegrate, Mona is forced to intrude upon her family members after the loss of her job and apartment, family members who can barely hold their own lives together as it is. With her world already crashing down around her, Mona wastes no time in replicating the procedure with her mother and sister for tragic, disastrous and occasionally hilarious consequences.

The most obvious merit of See You Next Tuesday is its fantastic cast performances, particularly those of Eleanore Pienta as the whiskey and marijuana binger who doesn’t know the due date of her own baby and Dana Eskelson as Mona’s erratic and massively immature mother May. Eskelson’s performance is particularly memorable as the mutton dressed as lamb embarrassment clearly stuck in the glory of her teenage years. Despite the film’s impressive character portrayals, it’s difficult to pick out a single likeable character from the bunch. The audience is forced to watch as every character makes abysmal life choices whilst simultaneously wrapping themselves in blankets of conceit and selfishness. There is no silver lining to the film, perhaps reminiscent of the harsh truth at hand that it connotes. The lack of any discernible moral message decorates the film with an undeniably pointless ambience and upon the film’s conclusion, nothing has been learnt and there is nothing to take away from the film other than sheer disgust.

A tragic and gritty tale of Hollywood reinvented, what See You Next Tuesday lacks in narrative it makes up for with outstanding cast performances that expose the harsh nature of the situation bare for all to witness, an experience that will unquestionably not be enjoyable for every member of the audience.

Presenting itself as an uncomfortable drama, See You Next Tuesday is a film that will undoubtedly make some members of the audience squirm uneasily in their seats owing to its lurid subject matter. A tragic and gritty tale of Hollywood reinvented, what See You Next Tuesday lacks in narrative it makes up for with outstanding cast performances that expose the harsh nature of the situation bare for all to witness, an experience that will unquestionably not be enjoyable for every member of the audience. The few moments of hilarity that the film does offer are the result of downright outrageousness incurring from the ever-crazier behaviour of Mona who contributes some of the film’s most awkward scenes, that are also the most engaging. With little entertainment or education value to be derived from See You Next Tuesday, the film acts merely as a powerful re-imagination of sugarcoated tales of teen pregnancy that Hollywood has ejected in modern times.

[notification type=”star”]40/100 ~ BAD. With little entertainment or education value to be derived from See You Next Tuesday, the film acts merely as a powerful re-imagination of sugarcoated tales of teen pregnancy that Hollywood has ejected in modern times. [/notification]

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Having been raised on a steady diet of 'Star Wars' and 'The Lord of the Rings', I learned from a very young age that film was a form of escapism, as well as entertainment. I see film as a true form of art, not only because it evokes emotions within a person, but it allows people to learn something about themselves merely by watching. My love for film is intrinsic to who I am and teaches me new things everyday.