The Bachelors (2017)
Comedy, Drama | 20 October 2017 (USA)
Synopsis: After the early death of his wife, a mourning father moves with his teenage son across the country for a private school teaching job. Their lives begin to transform due to two unique women, who help them embrace life and love again.
Review: J.K Simmons continues to show his acting range and broad emotional scope in the new dramedy, THE BACHELORS. It is as much a father and son movie as it is a look at one man’s journey through a painful loss. In both arenas Simmons brings realism and heart to his character and breathes life into a so-so script.
We meet Bill (Simmons) and his son Wes (Josh Wiggins) in the first few frames of the film and the opening lines set the stage for the stories purpose. This is one of many smart decisions that Writer/Director Kurt Voelker makes. We need to get the ball rolling and along the way we can learn more about what has brought them to this point. We know that the lady they called wife and mother has passed. The grief has taken its toll on Bill to the point that he can barely function. Wes is strapped with the fear that he is losing his father now too. (continued below)
The movie has a decent balance of drama and light hearted moments. Wes has started a new school where he meets the angst filled Lacy (Odeya Rush) and Bill has caught the attention of a fellow teacher (Julie Delpy). These two women become a balm of distraction and a means of finding pleasure in life again.
Be careful not to let the superb acting of Simmons and the emotional plot points lull you into thinking this is a perfect script. Or maybe it is more enjoyable if you do. The story moves too perfectly; even through the tragic moments. It feels very convenient in the lighter moments and tries too hard in the darker. You like these people and want them to be happy so in the end you forgive the cookie cutter arcs and predictable dialogue.
I appreciated the soundtrack in this film which gives it a timeless feeling of warmth and connection. I keep watching the trailer mainly for the music. Again this film does a lot of things right and the father and son nature of it is rare and should be embraced. The Wes/Lacy relationship might be a tad bit high school for some viewers and Lacy’s story does seem unnecessary on some levels. The focus needs to be Bill and Wes but again you are willing to forgive the extra baggage.
THE BACHELORS is unrated but for the 16 and older crowd. The themes and conversations go from coming of age to debilitating pain and loss. There is one or two major expletives used in perfect context but nothing else to concern parents watching with their older teens. I give it 3.75 out of 5 tighty whities. Can’t say enough how grand it is to watch Simmons in these roles. He’s. An. Actor. Bum bu bum bum, bum bum bum. (Some of you will get that)