'Year of Getting to Know Us' Falls Short; Lucy Liu Shines; Jimmy Fallon Does Not

By Soergel, Matt | The Florida Times Union, May 16, 2008 | Go to article overview

'Year of Getting to Know Us' Falls Short; Lucy Liu Shines; Jimmy Fallon Does Not


Soergel, Matt, The Florida Times Union


Byline: MATT SOERGEL

Jacksonville looks great, playing itself and the fictional Florida town of Arcade, in The Year of Getting to Know Us. And the film - known as Rocket when it was shot here last year - gets some surprisingly effective directing from Patrick Sisam in his first feature film. He has a nice eye for an evocative shot.

As for the storytelling, though, it's shakier ground. The Year of Getting to Know Us is a melancholy, minor-key story that feels a little too much like Zach Braff's Garden State to be comfortable. The extensive voice-overs don't help matters. Nor does the decision to bottle up Jimmy Fallon's rascally charm so completely; he goes serious here, though he probably didn't need to be quite that serious.

The film slips in and out of flashbacks to tell the story of Christopher Rocket (Fallon), a 35-year-old writer who's reluctant to commit to his girlfriend, Anne (Lucy Liu). She asks the movie's trenchant question: "Why do men want to act like boys their whole life?"

You get answers when Christopher goes home to Florida after his golf-crazy father (Tom Arnold) has a heart attack in the middle of "the round of his life. …

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