A film that sets up anticipation for thrills, but keeps its audience in a dull suspense for two-thirds of its performance, Shut In is certainly ambitious, but it falls prey to lack of commitment.
To figure out who you really are, tear everything apart until you find the parts that are truly you, and throw everything else away. This is the fundamental story behind Demolition, starring Jake Gyllenhaal. While the writer and director’s unique attempt at retelling the find-yourself story is commendable, and Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance as Davis is charming and top-notch, the film still struggles with this on-the-nose metaphor and lack of finding anything new to say. The gradual progression of Gyllenhaal’s clean cut character into a train wreck was well done, and writer Bryan Sipe basks in Davis’s self-destructive downward spiral, but ultimately struggles to find a suitable and authentic answer for him by the end.
The characters in While We’re Young are hyper-articulate, upper class New York intellectuals. They seem infinitely capable of expressing what’s wrong in their lives, with lines like, “Before we met the only feelings I had left were wistful and disdainful,” and yet they are completely helpless when it comes to actually solving problems.