The two and only Cinemaholics are back to review The One and Only Ivan, a new Disney+ family feature starring Bryan Cranston, Sam Rockwell, Danny DeVito, Angelina Jolie, and many more. We also go back in time in a fun way with our discussion of Tesla, the Sundance biopic from IFC Films starring Ethan Hawke. And we finish the show with a review of Words on Bathroom Walls, the new YA teen romance starring Charlie Plummer and Taylor Russell.
It wasn’t too long ago that young adult coming-of-age movies started to multiply in number upon the box office success of The Fault in Our Stars, which injected the usual teen drama formula with a high-stakes catch. What if you fell in love with someone who has terminal cancer?
This film trend has slowed down somewhat, with the exception of sappy imitators like last year’s Five Feet Apart, and now Words on Bathroom Walls, which rests its central premise on a new question for the genre: what if you fell in love with someone who has schizophrenia?
Director Trey Edward Shults has a clear interest in the tools needed for families to survive whatever dangers may come their way. His sophomore film from 2017, It Comes at Night—also an A24 film—explored a heightened metaphor for the terrors parents inflict upon their children just as easily as they themselves fear it, and in Waves, Shults presents a far more grounded, but equally as harrowing tale about the fragility of success in modern America.