Nov 18, 2016

[Movies] The Late Bloomer (2016)

There are a lot of weird movies that one might encounter. As much as you think you hear about most movies thanks to trailers, office talk, and all that fun stuff, there are still like a gazillion more of them out there that you've never heard of. Some of them surprise you. Some of them shock you. Some of them you just want to forget.

During my recent work trip to Singapore, I happened to watch The Late Bloomer with the team. I didn't now what to expect and what we ended up with is a rather raunchy comedy-drama with a lot of focus on sex. So it was one of those sorts of comedies.

This wasn't quite my sort of comedy, but I will give credit to the writers for really committing to this idea and making the most of it. I was a little underwhelmed with the acting but there was a fair amount of thought put into the comedy aspects behind this.

It's definitely not safe for kids. But that's how it works.

Synopsis: The Late Bloomer is an American comedy-drama movie directed by Kevin Pollack, who is probably more remembered as an actor than a director. The screenplay was written Gary Rosen, Paul A. Kaplan, Mark Torgove, Kyle Cooper, and Austyn Jeffs. It's based on the autobiographical Man Made: A Memoir of My Body by Ken Baker.

Dr. Peter Newmans, PhD (Johnny Simmons) is a 27 year old sex therapist who ironically is a virgin. He lives alone and spends his free time with his friends Rich (Kumali Nanjiani) and Josh (Blake Cooper). His whole practice is about trying to avoid losing too much time and focus thinking about sex and trying to reapply those energies into more productive ventures.

Things change when he starts to have feelings for one of his patients, Michelle (Brittany Snow), and he suddenly experiences a headache. This eventually leads to the discovery that he has a benign tumor in his brain that had the odd side effect of delaying his puberty. So it turns out that Peter's lack of sexual inclinations is biological in nature.

What I Liked: While it takes a while to build up to establish the core premise of the movie that explains the reason for the title, it's quite a quirky concept. You have a man who makes a career about not being sexual but then finally goes through a much-delayed puberty. So yeah, he's in the most sexually charged part of his life and his adulthood doesn't quite manage to compensate for the hormonal rush.

What Could Have Been Better: The movie has terrible pacing issues and the initial premise about Peter being a sex therapist along with his two bro friends is not enough to sustain interest until we get to the whole delayed puberty bit. He has some roughly interesting cases but they're only handled in montage fashion.

Acting is flat and dry and not even Kumali Nanjiani manages to help things along since he's really the sort of comedic talent who works well with others. And when the others aren't so great then he has not much to work with.

TL;DR: The Late Bloomer is a movie with a decent premise but doesn't know what to do with it. Instead you have a movie that focuses a lot on Peter masturbating for the second half of the movie. Thus the movie gets 1 sad sexual joke out of a possible 5.


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