Review: I Used To Go Here – The Only Laughter Produced Was Discomfort

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Cringe-worthy

I Used To Go Here fails to offer comedy that isn't uncomfortably cringe-worthy.

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Written and directed by Kris Rey, I Used To Go Here is an American comedy, starring Gillian Jacobs, Josh Wiggins and Hannah Marks. Capturing what life is like when you’re in your mid-30s and stuck in a bit of a rut, the film follows Kate Conklin (Gillian Jacobs) after the failure of her debut novel, ‘Seasons Passing’.

The book comes to be described as “boring” and “insipid” by a well-known reviewer, which causes Kate some personal troubles as she tries to figure out where she now belongs. What is ironic about this is that her book, ‘Seasons Passings’, got the review that this film deserves. However brilliant Gillian Jacobs has been in the past, I Used To Go Here is as cringe-worthy as it is boring.

Its concept is not bad. The mid-30s rut which many people experience, especially those English majors and general writers, is relatable and supposedly a simple topic to capture on film. And it’s captured successfully here, but perhaps too successfully, as there are no memorable plot points to be had. It’s relatability becomes dull, detracted, and neither is it film-worthy in its context.

What this film fails at most is its plot, as the moments which are memorable are not for the right reasons. Inappropriate relationships are at the forefront of I Used To Go Here, there are no other moments for viewers to rest in. Realising that Hugo’s girlfriend was actually sleeping with her much older lecturer is somewhat shocking, but the moment that Kate sleeps with Hugo felt a major step too far that I couldn’t stand. Is a 35 year old woman sleeping with an 18-19 year old student meant to act like an epiphanythat everything becomes clear in her life? Because if so, that’s a bit odd.

Oddities are what I Used To Go Here thrives off. As there is seemingly one inappropriate relationship after another, viewers are allowed no break from cringe-worthy moments, which are as odd as they are irrelevant. It’s hard to watch the film and not feel the need to question almost every plot point. Did Tall Brandon really need to kiss Hugo’s mum? What was the purpose of that?

In between the awkward, clearly fake parties, and the inappropriate, unnecessary relationships, I Used To Go Here details the life of Kate and a plethora of extra characters. Her pregnant friend fails to provides any interesting character qualities (except for her pregnancy) alongside offering very little to the plot, and that’s the case for a lot of others. Michael, Animal, Emma, Elliot, and countless others all seem fleetingly added for no particular reason which diminishes the story and makes the flaws more apparent.

Despite being listed as a comedy, the only laughter that I Used To Go Here produced was one of discomfort. It’s unclear where its aims lie and it’s a film that I won’t remember in the future, and neither will you.

I Used To Go Here, directed by Kris Rey, is distributed in the UK via Signature Entertainment, certificate 15. It’s available to rent on demand and on DVD now.

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Live Editor 2019/20 & third year English student. Can usually be found procrastinating my degree at a gig, or trying (and failing) to complete my Goodreads challenge

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