As humans, we are shaped by our experiences, even the seemingly small and insignificant ones. This is the very real message of All These Small Moments.
All These Small Moments is a new dramedy written and directed by Melissa B. Miller. The film follows a young boy whose adolescence becomes complicated as he deals with his infatuation with an older woman and his parents begin to drift apart. It debuted at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival.
This movie’s biggest success is in its characters. Every single one of the characters is super sympathetic, even when their actions aren’t always the most likable. The protagonist, Howie, is very interesting and rounded. His arc is a tad generic, but that can be expected given that it is the one typical of a coming-of-age film. Perhaps more fascinating, though, are the protagonist’s parents, whose story is brutally honest but not often represented on-screen.
As such, the movie has a lot of relatability. If you are a male, you will likely identify with Howie and all of the struggles he is facing going through adolescence. Females will find multiple characters with whom they will identify, from the protagonist’s mother to his Manic Pixie Dream Girl, Odessa. Further subgroups of people will identify with different aspects of the story, like outcasts or people who come from a divorced household.
The film does a great job of making humor out of the awkward situations in which the protagonist finds himself. There are multiple laugh-out-loud moments throughout that result from the situational comedy. Furthermore, the dialogue is witty and breezy, eliciting quite a few laughs of its own.
The way in which the movie handles the archetype of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl is quite interesting and surprisingly realistic. It is very honest about this type of romance and its effects on the people involved. Although the situation may be exaggerated, the message at its core is touching and real.
On the other hand, the film isn’t quite as effective at developing its subplots. There are two main B-stories: the protagonist’s parents separating and a potential secondary love interest for the protagonist. The former is done pretty well. The mother and father are both interesting, well-written characters, and as a result, their story is interesting too.
The latter subplot isn’t nearly as involving. The character, Lindsay, isn’t particularly charming. The audience feels anger at the protagonist because he is being unfair to her, but it’s hard to want them to end up together. The romance between the protagonist and his older crush is far more rootable even if it is pretty far-fetched.
The execution of the movie is strong. The cinematography is solid, especially when the shots are close. The filmmakers used lengthy close-ups to highlight the emotion in certain monologues and dialogue scenes, and it works very well. Another thing that jumped out as strong was the soundtrack. It is comprised of indie songs that give the film a nice, homey feel.
Overall, All These Small Moments was an entertaining and easily palatable dramedy. Audiences both young and old will likely enjoy it.
All These Small Moments opens in theaters on January 17 and is available on VOD beginning January 18.