Listen Up Philip (★★ Empire Review)

ListenUpPhilipSquareAnxiously awaiting the publication of his second novel, insufferably narcissistic author Philip Friedman (Schwartzman) leaves his long-suffering girlfriend Ashley (Moss) to spend time at the home of Ike Zimmerman (Pryce), one of the few writers he admires – other than himself, of course. For all of Philip’s inchoate anger, Perry’s film is as rambling and laid back as the jazzy score, and relies too heavily on Eric Bogosian’s narration, rather than the actors, to convey emotions. Ultimately, Listen Up Philip has the feel of a lazy literary adaptation, of a half-remembered novel, and not a particularly fresh or compelling one.

 

An amiable cast is done a disservice by Perry’s annoying script and ‘unsteady-cam’ technique, while his shaky handheld cinematography gives the entire enterprise the feel of watching the home movies of narcissistic assholes.

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