review by Bobby Blakey
Often times the smaller independent films offer up more than most of the bigger blockbusters. These films typically have a lot more freedom and are willing to take risks that are often hit and miss. The latest, Quitters features a great cast including Ben Konigsberg, Greg Germann, Mia Sorvino, Kara Hayward, Kieran Culkin, and Saffron Burrows with director Noah Pritzker at the helm with his first feature. Could this film be one of those standout independent films or will it be one that should have quit before it was ever started?
Quitters follows a wily San Francisco teenager who thinks he can outsmart everyone and believes he is navigating life pretty well. But when he gets fed up with his aloof dad and drug addicted mother, he decides to leave his family in search of a better one. This is one of those films that will likely affect everyone differently which is exactly what good films are supposed to do. This story could have been another generic teen coming of age story, but there are so many layers to these characters it is so much more. Despite the impressive cast this film rests mostly on the shoulders of Ben Konigsberg who does a great job at creating a character that is believable and not all that likeable for most of the film, but you can understand some of the teen issues he is dealing with and why it makes him that. This is a dialogue heavy, character drama that requires the viewer to invest in the story for it to work. Each character has its own issues to overcome in their own way, but each of these issues intertwines causing a much bigger issue to deal with. Everyone here does a great job creating a story and set of characters that feels like real life and often times extremely awkward in the same way. There are some moments that might make some uncomfortable due to the teen involvement, but it is handled with care and class to create scenarios that you believe and can relate to.
This is one of those unexpected films that while slow at times delivers a story that is relatable to viewers both adult and teen in ways you just don’t get often in film. The film ends on the perfect note showing that life continues both good and bad as opposed to trying to force the typical Hollywood nonsense. You can check out Quitters now in select theaters and on VOD.