Film Review “Brightest Star”

BrightestStarPosterStarring: Chris Lowell, Rose McIver, Jessica Szohr, Clark Gregg, Allison Janney
Directed By: Maggie Kiley
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 80 minutes

Our Score: 1.5 out of 5 Stars

If you already know that the universe is not going to deliver everything to you personally, then you are light years ahead of the main character of Maggie Kiley’s “Brightest Star”. We meet him, simply called “The Boy” (Chris Lowell), in his self-described “biggest, deepest black hole” Which turns out to be just after being dumped by his college girlfriend. It seems a little melodramatic and the flashbacks to the actual relationship in question don’t offer much to support this reaction.

The Boy fell for this ex, Charlotte (Rose McIver), at first sight in an Astronomy class. He gazes longingly at her until he manages to score an invite to a party she’s holding for a proper introduction. They bond over Very Important Things like mac n’cheese and proper game watching snacks but eventually drift apart as Charlotte progresses in her career while the Boy stalls in his search for purpose. He falls back on dating convenient friend Lita (Jessica Szohr) whose father runs the impressive company where the Boy wishes to work to win back Charlotte. In a vaguely creepy turn of events he seeks out Charlotte’s division specifically to work on a project with him despite her protesting his presence in her life. His Charlotte obsession combined with the neglect of backup girl Lita brings the already bland Boy into very unappealing and overly-entitled territory no matter how he may wax poetic about the universe. Which as it turns out is with about as much depth as one might expect from one semester of mandatory liberal arts credit astronomy.

Along the way, there are many conversations between the Boy and his peers about the meaning of it all and seemingly an endless number of dead-end jobs he plows through–there are a baffling amount of positions available for the untrained soul-searching young guy in this film’s economy–which makes the film seem as rudderless as its protagonist. The charismatic Allison Janney turns up late in the game as an actual astronomer to seemingly set the boy on the right course but it’s remains unclear as to why this Boy deserves such salvation.

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