Kicking and Screaming

Watch Kicking and Screaming

"Anxiety loves company."
  • R
  • 1995
  • 1 hr 36 min
  • 6.7  (14,735)
  • 75

Kicking and Screaming is a 1995 film that revolves around a group of college graduates who are reluctant to move on with their lives and face the real world. The film's central character is Grover (Josh Hamilton), who is a witty and intellectual young man overwhelmed with indecision and uncertainty about what to do next. Grover, along with his three best friends - Otis (Carlos Jacott), Skippy (Jason Wiles), and Max (Chris Eigeman), decides to spend his summer in limbo, hanging out and discussing their situation.

As the film opens, the four college friends are at their graduation ceremony, and they soon realize they are facing a future filled with uncertainty. Grover's longtime girlfriend, Jane (Olivia d'Abo), is leaving to study abroad in Prague, and Grover feels lost when he is forced to bid farewell to her. Meanwhile, Skippy is unable to leave town due to his low grades, and Otis is committed to staying in his dorm room for the entire summer.

Grover is adamant that they should all be doing something more productive than just lazing around all summer. He is also frustrated with his friends' lack of motivation and energy, which begins to put a rift in their friendship. Grover is particularly annoyed with Max, who is an overbearing and sarcastic fellow with a nihilistic perspective on life. Max already knows what he wants to do for his future, and he is less than kind about his friends' indecisiveness.

As the summer progresses, the group becomes increasingly disillusioned with their lack of direction. They spend their time drinking heavily, playing video games, and analyzing their pre-existing relationships. Grover becomes fed up with their lethargic approach to life and decides to take action by signing up for a graduate philosophy seminar. The newfound sense of purpose excites Grover, but it drives a further wedge into his already tense relationships with his friends.

The film serves as a snapshot of a generation of young people struggling to find their place in the world. The script, penned by Noah Baumbach, is smartly written and filled with witty dialogue that feels naturalistic and insightful. The characters are all distinct, and their interactions explore the complex dynamics of young adult friendships.

Josh Hamilton delivers an excellent performance as Grover. Despite the character's often pretentious and self-righteous demeanor, Hamilton manages to make him likable and relatable. Eric Stoltz plays Chet, Grover's former professor, who still hangs around the university and acts as a mentor to the group. Stoltz brings a level of charm and warmth to the character, who serves as a touchstone of wisdom for the confused twentysomethings.

The supporting cast also shines, particularly Samuel Gould as Miami, a high school student who befriends the group and becomes a sounding board for their various complaints and musings. The chemistry between the friends feels genuine and well-developed, and the ensemble cast handles the dry humor and introspective moments with ease.

Kicking and Screaming has a contemplative and melancholic tone that perfectly captures the ambiguity and restlessness of its characters. The film's pacing is deliberate and unassuming, and it has a low-key soundtrack that enhances the overall mood of the movie. The film's overarching message is a realistic one - that life is filled with uncertainties, and there is no easy answer to figuring out one's place in the world.

In conclusion, Kicking and Screaming is a charming, funny, and thoughtful film that explores the angst of young adulthood with intelligence and empathy. Its witty script, well-drawn characters, and understated direction all add up to a deeply satisfying movie that feels both timeless and relevant. Anyone who has experienced the aimlessness and confusion that come with finishing college will find something to relate to in this smart and affecting film.

Kicking and Screaming is a 1995 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 36 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7 and a MetaScore of 75.

Kicking and Screaming
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 36 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.7  (14,735)
  • Metascore