Evan's Eyes

Igby Goes Down

Professional film critics see a lot of movies. You might think this is a great thing, like getting to eat a pint of ice cream every day. After the initial thrill has worn off, daily ice cream becomes a chore, especially when it's typically made with low-quality ingredients and unimaginative flavors. When a flavor comes along that shows a spark of originality, it gets lavish praise, even if it really isn't that appealing to normal people (this explains why so many film critics rave about foreign films).

Igby Goes Down isn't typical, but that doesn't make it agreeable. If you really liked Harold & Maude, but found it way too upbeat, you'll like this film. For the rest of us, it's like the awkward moment experienced by a young drug dealer who finds himself selling to a grade-school teacher he hasn't seen for years, and their reminiscing reminds them that they didn't like each other much. Would you seek that out?

There are flawed characters in this film. I can handle flawed characters. I just want someone with redeeming qualities to counterbalance. The most positive character is a drug-dealing performance artist. I've seen enough people living their lives badly that watching this lot failed to amuse me, even with the handful of funny moments they generate. I don't want to give away too much, but if you like characters achieving meaningful catharsis or enrichment from their experiences, keep moving down the metroplex.

On the positive side, it may make you grateful that this über-dysfunctional family isn't yours. You may also think about how zucchini-chutney ice cream is atypical, but not very good.

If you liked the movies below, you may like this one (and visa versa):

  • Harold & Maude
  • Ghost World
  • Less Than Zero
  • Midnight Cowboy
  • Leaving Las Vegas
Overall Rating: 3 (where 1=Worthless, 10=Fabulous)

Eight-Facet Info Rating, rated on a scale of 0 (None) to 4 (Lots!)):

Humor: 1
Nudity: 1
Sexual Reference: 2
Sexual Activity: 1
Action: 1
Gore: 1
Violence: 1
Profanity: 2


© 2002 Evan M. Nichols