VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Better Living Through Chemistry (2014)

Clio: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.1/5 stars Netflix, 6.3/10 IMDB.

Clio’s thoughts:  Not quite the outright comedy I’d hoped, but definitely funny, fucked up, drug-fueled, romantic, and with some nice eye candy (Olivia Wilde). The movie is a delayed coming-of-age story for adults in the “arrested development” of being trapped in a bad life, and needing to grow out of it.

Fucked up situations all around, with drug-use ultimately driving the comedy AND the plot. And the plot drove the character development by forcing the character to grow.

For a movie that is basically “romantic comedy plus drugs”, this actually fared pretty well, and had lots of interesting aspects. No regrets watching this, even if it wasn’t great. The cast (Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde, Michelle Monaghan, Ray Liotta) helped make this good.  This is a really good first movie from a first-time director and writer.

Carolyn’s thoughts: This was pretty quirky.  It wasn’t as funny as we were hoping, but it was enjoyable.  It really shows how life can get out of control pretty fast.

Written & directed by Geoff Moore & David Posamentier.

Sam Rockwell (Zaphod Beeblebrox in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (2005), Iron Man 2, Galaxy Quest, Seven Psychopaths, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1, A Case Of You, Heist) as Doug Varney.
Olivia Wilde (Tron 2, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, The Change-Up, Drinking Buddies, Year One, 1 ep of Tron: Uprising, 1 ep of Portlandia, 1 ep of American Dad) as Elizabeth Roberts.
Michelle Monaghan (Justice League: War, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, The Bourne Supremacy, Constantine, Mission Impossible 3, 1 ep of American Dad) as Kara Varney.
Jane Fonda as Jane Fonda.
Ray Liotta (Observe & Report, The Details, Youth In Revolt, Hannibal, Good Fellas, La Linea, 1 ep of Family Guy, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV::) as Jack Roberts.
Norbert Leo Butz (Dan In Real Life) as Agent Andrew Carp.
Ben Schwartz (Mystery Team, 3 eps of Starveillance, 2 eps of Bob’s Burgers, 1 ep of Robot Chicken, 1 ep of Arrested Development, 1 ep of Tron: Uprising) as Noah.
Ken Howard (A.C.O.D., 13 eps of Dynasty, 2 eps of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of Batman-TAS, 1 ep of The Office) as Walter Bishop.
Jenn Harris (A Case Of You) as Janet.
Harrison Holzer as Ethan Varney.
Peter Jacobson (Transformers movie, 2 eps of Hope & Faith) as Dr. Roth.
Sonnie Brown (Don Jon) as Principal Song-Carmichael.
Ken Arnold (Men In Black 3, uncredited in Cecil B. DeMented) as Ed.