David Schwimmer’s LITTLE DEATH is a Dark Comedy That Starts off Strong Then Loses It’s Way — GeekTyrant

Little Death is the debut feature film from acclaimed music video director Jack Begert, co-written with Dani Goffstein. This dark comedy takes a cockeyed yet sensitive look at Hollywood dreams and disappointments, offering a unique perspective on midlife identity crises, opioid addiction, and the pursuit of meaning in the bustling chaos of Los Angeles.

The film’s ensemble cast is led by David Schwimmer and Jena Malone, and they are joined by Talia Ryder, Dominic Fike, Gaby Hoffman, and Karl Glusman.

Little Death is described as “a dark comedy about a screenwriter’s (Schwimmer) midlife identity crisis and a crime drama about a pair of taco truck entrepreneurs (Ryder and Fike) in search of their next opioid fix. In true Los Angeles fashion, these characters collide at a tragicomic intersection, and the film shifts gears from barbed showbiz satire to an introspective hangout vibe. Throughout, Little Death stays deeply attuned to the inner lives of its restless dreamers, examining their efforts to find meaning and connection while struggling against the fickleness of fate and the illusion of free will.”

The first half of the film introduces us to Schwimmer’s character, a screenwriter navigating a midlife identity crisis. It’s here that the movie truly shines, offering viewers smart, witty dialogue peppered with social commentary. The film cleverly delves into the challenges faced by the protagonist as he tries to get his script produced, including the studio’s demand to change the main character’s gender. The thing is, the script is based on his life experiences, and doesn’t see how this change would work.

One memorable highlight in this part of the film is the hilarious attempt to transform the male protagonist into a female character while retaining the same life experiences. Schwimmer’s character’s journey, now as a woman, unfolds with amusing results. This segment showcases the film’s potential for inventive storytelling and social satire.

However, Little Death takes an unexpected turn in its second half, which left me confused and detached. The shift in the narrative completely changes the story and introduces a new cast of characters, diverting from the path set in the beginning. This abrupt transition was disorienting and pulled me right out of the movie because I was completely invested in the initial story.

While the second half of the film has its moments, including a few fun characters, it struggles to maintain the same level of engagement established in the first half. The decision to discard one storyline in favor of another may leave some viewers feeling disconnected and disappointed. I just didn’t like that they ripped away one story for another. 

Little Death certainly has its merits, including clever social commentary, witty dialogue, and inventive storytelling. However, its big swing with the narrative shift in the second half may not resonate with everyone, potentially alienating those who were deeply invested in the initial story. Despite its unique approach and strong ensemble cast, the film falls short of achieving its full potential. But, maybe some of you will enjoy the movie and how it plays out.

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