I've never seen any film by Joe Swanberg, but I did watch the first two seasons of Young American Bodies back when it was on Nerve.com. I've been inching my way to a full length feature for years now, but never knew where to start. I mean, there are films like LOL, Nights and Weekends and Kissing on the Mouth. But it was Hannah Takes the Stairs that appeared before me. I found it at CompUSA yesterday for the low, low price of $2.99! What a friggin' deal for a film I've never seen in any local store. So I did what any guy would, and picked up the DVD, paid the $2.99 plus tax and skipped out of the store. Only to watch it today.
I don't know what I expected, really. Maybe my expectations have been fueled by my love for his web-series and all the hype from the indie world. Or maybe, I thought that when I watched Hannah Takes the Stairs, I wouldn't be watching an hour and twenty-three minute episode of Young American Bodies. What made the series so watchable - and slightly more original at the time - was it's slice-of-life feel. I wasn't watching a sitcom, television drama or reality show, but a mix of all three. Which is great for a show that only lasts less than 15 minutes, but kills when you have to watch it for nearly an hour and a half.
I'm not even sure what I'm supposed to take out of the film. According to the cover summary, it's apparently about a restless college grad named Hannah, who is trying to figure her shit out and looking for a guy who can keep up with her. Which is pretty much right on the button, but that's about it. There's no real plot. There is no real character development. There isn't anything that makes you wanna watch more or watch it again. There's nothing about the film that's notable. There's not real resolution - are we to believe that three is Hannah's lucky number when it is so painfully obvious that something will happen that makes her think and end that relationship?
I'm sorry, but the same reasons I loved Young American Bodies also happens to be the reasons why I don't like this movie. But will that stop me from watching something else by Swanberg? Not likely. Until next time, keep on huntin'.