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Crash Pad (2017) Review

Crash Pad is a 2017 comedy about a hopeless romantic, who thinks he’s found true love with an older woman, only to learn that she has ulterior motives.

To be in love with (or at least in lust with) an older woman has long been one of those cherished cinematic adventures young men in movies have sought for decades upon decades, with perhaps Mike NicholsThe Graduate being the real trend setter. Myriad films have followed, many campy sex romps but others more meaningful, and so it continues on and on, the ‘cougar’ a staple of contemporary culture. Now comes Kevin Tent‘s Crash Pad, one more in the mix, a film that takes the premise and flips it about a bit with plenty of ambition and a few well-earned laughs that can’t bring it quite together in the end as well it could.

Stensland (Domhnall Gleeson) is your basic 29-year-old directionless young man who just happens to be in love with a beautiful older woman named Morgan (Christina Applegate), with whom he’s just had a one night stand. She’s was just looking for sex, hoping to get back at her husband Grady (Thomas Haden Church), but when she breaks the news to Stensland that she’s not interested in seeing him again, he breaks down, having a ginormous emotional shutter that puts him on a week-long pot-induced stupor. When he tries to win her back though, she pulls the rug out from under him by telling Grady everything. Then, when Grady sees what a pathetic loser Stensland is, he decides to do something right off the charts. 

It’s a little hard to know where to stand with Crash Pad, a film that on the surface is a fairly predictable party movie with a dash of makeover thrown in for good measure. It has a lot of the landmarks the genre has made standard, including the emotional wallops in the third act that are all but telegraphed from the start. It has plenty of momentum leading up to that last act, but loses almost all its steam once there, fumbling most of the good stuff it built getting there. While no one would expect there to be surprises in a film like this, it’s too bad there isn’t something a little more imaginative in the whole affair, especially given the great cast.

That starts and ends with Gleeson, who is one hundred percent the best thing going, delivering an absolutely manic performance, looking for most of the movie like he’s just crawled out of bed after a three night bender. He is a chatty yet depressive type, hooked on his VHS collection of Dawson’s Creek, spending more time lounging on the showroom sofas of the local furniture store than his own. Gleeson is endlessly fun to watch, making Stensland not so much a lovable loser but a kind of gushy best friend, the sort of guy you feel sorry for but can’t help but want to hang out with. I liked what he does all the way through. Unfortunately, despite good work from Church and Applegate as well, everything just kinda all falls neatly into place, leaving the film a little underwhelming.

Crash Pad is a good looking, well-directed comedy that has a solid share of laughs, though lacks the sharp edges and darker bits of humor that might have made this better. Too much is undercooked, such as a limited turn by Nina Dobrev, who is left to an obvious end and a foreign language speaking landlord who seems to set up a gag that goes nowhere. Still, watch this for Gleeson, who will absolutely make you laugh. That’s a guarantee.  

Crash Pad (2017) Review

Movie description: Crash Pad is a 2017 comedy about a hopeless romantic, who thinks he's found true love with an older woman, only to learn that she has ulterior motives.

Director(s): Kevin Tent

Actor(s): Nina Dobrev, Domhnall Gleeson, Christina Applegate

Genre: Comedy

  • Our Score
User Rating 4.2 (5 votes)
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