'Things I Don't Understand' Examiner Movie Review, Written by: Karen Benardello
While people work hard to improve all aspects of their personal and professional lives, the continuous strain of intensive labor to achieve these successes can be physically and emotionally draining. David Spaltro, who wrote, directed and executive produced the new comedy-drama ‘Things I Don’t Understand,’ fearlessly drew on his own personal experiences to create the movie. The emotionally-charged characters, brought to life by memorable performances, will surely make viewers question where their own lives are headed, and what they can do to better themselves.
‘Things I Don’t Understand’ follows Violet Kubelick (played by Molly Ryman), a former prodigy student in her psychology and sociology graduate program, who now only cares about living in “the pressure-less expectation free zone.” After a failed suicide attempt, she decides to give up on her career and work at a minimum wage job at a local bookstore, enjoying her free lifestyle. But her ever-lasting fascination with the human condition of dying and the possibility of an after-life pushes Violet to continue on her thesis.
Violet’s therapist, Dr. Anne Blankenship (portrayed by Lisa Eichhorn), encourages her to work at Our Lady of Hope, a Hospice where she meets Sara (played by Grace Folsom), a terminally ill girl. Sara helps Violet open up emotionally, allowing her to pursue a meaningful relationship with Parker McNeil (portrayed by Aaron Mathias), the mysterious bartender who lives downstairs from her. Sara’s life is also turned up-side down when her and her two roommates, the drug-addicted musician Remy (played by Hugo Dillon) and the failed activist and performance artist Gabby (portrayed by Meissa Hampton), face eviction from their rent-controlled loft.
The comedy-drama takes a memorable, realistic look into the life of young adults who are questioning what professional and personal choices they should be making in their lives. Violet insists to everyone, even herself, that she’s perfectly happy with her minimal responsibilities at work and her care-free, casual relationships. But once she’s faced with the possibility of losing the only true home she’s ever known, Violet takes a sympathetic turn, realizing there’s more important things in life than just always having a fun time.
Spaltro emotionally based the script on his own experiences, which effectively allows the audience to question what they would do if life makes changes for them that they’re afraid to make for themselves. Violet, who is unsure of her faith and trust in other people, creates a sentimental bond with Sara after learning about her illness.
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