The Voices – Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)

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Overview

A young man, whose best friends are his pets, decides he is going to be socially active and ask out a girl from accounting. Leading to a fun night which goes horribly wrong, and leads to him not making the best decisions from that night on.

Review (with Spoilers) – Below

Characters & Story

In Jerry’s (Ryan Reynolds) family, hearing voices is a genetic trait. His mom heard voices, which she called angels, and he does too. Mostly from his cat Mr. Whiskers (Ryan Reynolds) and dog Boscoe (Ryan Reynolds), his best friends. However, being that Jerry is in his late 20s, early 30s, just having conversations with his pets isn’t enough – he wants a lady friend. Enter Fiona (Gemma Arterton) and Lisa (Anna Kendrick). Fiona is a cute English girl in Accounting, and Lisa is the cute girl who sits right next to her. One of them is into Jerry, but the other is not. Luck has is through that they all end up in Jerry’s apartment, just not under the best circumstances.

Praise

One thing I’m learning from seeing two Anna Kendrick movies back to back is that, pretty much, she can work with most male actors, in a romantic sense, and pull it off. Be it because of a girl next door vibe, or just this vibe she gives to her characters which makes it seem they truly believe they can find love, are deserving of it, and can keep it alive. Making me wonder if she could become the modern day Meg Ryan and make a lot of quality romance films.

Her ability to work with anyone aside, I must admit Reynolds is quite likable in this film. For while the character is solely presented as simple and lovable, even as things go wrong, you feel bad for him. Mostly because this is one of the few films, in recent memory, which helps provide you an understanding of why the lead’s mental state is where it is. For while genetics played a role in him hearing voices, an emotionally abusive father, we see, plays a role, and the actions of his mother.

Thus crafting a story which presents Reynolds as someone you want to root for, see get better, fall in love, and hopefully, have a happy life.

Criticism

There are two main issues when it comes to this film: The first is that this film isn’t really that funny. For, outside of one or two scenes with Mr. Whiskers, pretty much you are just watching the film try to make use of the simple, Midwest stereotype Jerry comes off as. Something which perhaps is supposed to inspire laughs, but when paired with his mental health problem, pretty much you more so feel sorry for him vs. can feel comfortable laughing at anything going on in his life.

Leading to problem number 2: the film lacks heart. For while Jerry certainly inspires sympathy, especially due to his childhood, his mental health you can see is more so geared toward being used for comedic effect vs. showing him as a person with a complicated life. And with Jerry seeming like Reynolds channeled Forrest Gump, and then the script called for Dr. Warren (Jacki Weaver) to never be used to really help push the idea that schizophrenia would be used for anything besides a gimmick, you are left with your usual shallow depiction of a mental illness used for comedic effect without it being taken seriously at all [1].

Overall: TV Viewing

The Voices is an enjoyable movie, which likely will keep you engaged, but this film isn’t that funny, nor has any sense of depth, to make it compelling enough to be considered a quality thriller or drama. It just has mostly likable characters and one misguided young man who accidently does a bad thing. Hence the TV Viewing label.

Things To Note

[1] Which I say while recognizing how much schizophrenia destroys his life in the film.

Questions, Comments, or Opposing Opinion?