Cinema Review: Krystal | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Monday, September 27th, 2021  


Studio: Paladin & Great Point Media
Directed by William H. Macy

Apr 11, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

As Krystal opens, we meet Taylor (Nick Robinson), who is walking down the beach, listing his bona fides as a person. Speaking in a thick and seemingly exaggerated Southern drawl, Taylor ensures us he’s a good young manmwho knows when to say please, and thank you, and hold the door open for the person behind him. He also informs us of a heart condition he has, which causes his heart rate to increase at a rapid rate and often hospitalizes him. This condition, used as a mere contrivance, is how Taylor meets the eponymous Krystal (Rosario Dawson). She is on the same beach and crosses paths with Taylor, hoping he can give her a ride. His condition kicks in and she ends up having to rush him to the hospital and stay by his side. Worth noting, the hospital apparently has only one doctor (William Fichtner), who is the worst doctor to ever step foot into an ER.

From that moment on, Taylor is madly in love with Krystal and needs to find any way to get to know her. He follows her - in full stalker form - to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. Here he learns of her past as an addict, alcoholic, and stripper. Still, the 18-year-old is in love. Krystal doesn’t take him seriously but as he starts to spend more time with her and her son Bobby (Jacob Latimore), Taylor seems to grow on her.

Krystal is as much of a head-scratcher as described, and a complete hodgepodge of ideas, tones, and ponderous dialogue about life. William H. Macy directs (and co-stars as Taylor’s father), and his latest outing is another strange addition to his puzzling trajectory as a filmmaker. He continues to make films without showing a glimpse of what interested him in the story. The mildly affecting Rudderless led to the terrible The Layover and now a strange story about addiction, first love, and life. The mind boggles, Mr. Macy.

Robinson is a talented young actor, currently enjoying success with the charming Love, Simon, but he falls flat in his impersonation of a Southerner. His character knows very little about life but seems to have it all figured out once he decides he’s in love with Krystal. His performance isn’t helped by Will Aldis’ screenplay, which makes Taylor unlikable in his persistence, rather than a confused boy on the cusp of manhood.

Krystal never finds its footing as it abruptly transitions from drama to broad comedy. Macy and Aldis try to keep things lively as the story moves along but in the end it’s all a jarring mess.

Author rating: 3/10

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