PALO ALTO Add To My Top 10
Godless, Immoral Portrayal of Teenage Angst
Release Date: May 09, 2014
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 98 minutes
Distributor: Tribeca Film
Director: Gia Coppola
Executive Producer: None
Writer: Gia Coppola
Address Comments To:Robert DeNiro, Craig Hatkoff, Jane Rosenthal
375 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10013
Phone: (212) 941-2000; Fax: (212) 941-3997
Website: www.tribecafilm.com; Email: [email protected]
In the story, such that it is, a high school senior named April is a shy soccer player and frequent babysitter to her coach, Mr. B. She’s also friends with Teddy, an artistically inclined boy who hangs around with Fred, an unpredictable delinquent with few filters or boundaries. April gets involved with her coach while Teddy has to perform community service for a drunk driving and hit-and-run fender bender. Meanwhile, Fred seduces Emily, a loner who seeks affection through sexual encounters.
These teenagers make some of the worst decisions possible. Though an intelligent girl otherwise, April begins an affair with her soccer coach. She also briefly exposes the coach’s young son to a nude scene in a movie. Emily has sexual encounters with both Teddy and Fred. Fred threatens a dope dealer with a knife and deliberately drives the wrong way down a freeway at night. Teddy mouths off at a traffic cop and lets Fred endanger his community service punishment for drunk driving. Finally, at one point or another, all of the teenagers drink alcohol or smoke marijuana.
There’s little redemptive content to counteract all these dark doings. Sometimes the teenagers share a moment of affection or companionship for one another. At one point, the reckless Fred starts crying, which indicates that he may realize how messed up he is and how badly he’s behaving. At another point, Teddy shares his artistic talent with an elderly woman at a senior citizens home. Nothing much comes out of these brief moments, however, even though it seems at the end that April and Teddy have a close friendship going that may lead to something more for them. Even if true, the movie provides no moral, spiritual, or intellectual foundation for them, other than Teddy’s interest in art.
In the end, PALO ALTO has a strong humanist view based on feelings. The premise is unclear, there’s a lot of strong foul language, and the teenagers seek solace in sex, alcohol, and drugs. PALO ALTO presents a pretty dark view of American teenage life with no biblical, religious, or spiritual values to guide, engage, or inspire viewers in a deeper way. Like too many independent movies, it’s a godless, somewhat boring exercise with no moral rudder.
These teenagers make some of the worst decisions possible. At one point or another, all of them drink alcohol or smoke marijuana. There’s little redemptive content to counteract these dark doings. Sometimes, the characters share a moment of affection or companionship, but nothing much comes out of that. PALO ALTO has a strong humanist worldview based on feelings. It presents a dark view of American teenage life with no biblical, religious, or spiritual values to guide, engage, or inspire viewers. Besides the substance abuse, there’s plenty of foul language and brief salacious nudity in PALO ALTO.