Let's assume for a moment that every story that can be told has already been told, and that there is very little by way of originality floating around out there. If this is the case--and it is--then the problem facing every film out there is how to come across as being original or innovative. And because it is pretty much impossible to be original or innovative, then all a film really can do is fake it; and how well a film fakes it determines, ultimately, how good it is. The problem with Quarter Life Crisis is that it fails to fake it for at least 80 of its 87-minute runtime.
Maulik Pacholy stars as Neil Desai, a just-turned 27-year old that has recently moved in with his girlfriend, Angel (Lisa Ray), and has just gotten promoted at work. But for reasons that are as contrived as they are cliché, Neil can't help but wonder if there is something better out there. Because he's too young to have a midlife crisis, he's having a quarter life crisis. When he skips dinner with Angel on his birthday in favor of spending it with his slacker friends, and then invites them over the next night where they proceed to eat the cake she got for him, Neil finds that his relationship is suddenly on hiatus. To help him get over his faltering love life, a limo driver (Russell Peters) gives Neil a book on astrological love signs, which prompts the meathead jackass to try and meet his soul mate--as described by the book. With his idiot friends cheering him on from the sidelines, and the help of the limo driver--who is at Neil's service 24/7 for reasons too inane to bother describing here--our thoroughly unlikable, charisma-challenged hero navigates the single's scene.
Quarter Life Crisis is as unremarkable as it is uninteresting and predictable. And that is the positive. The negative is the film's maudlin, poorly written script, the performances that range from mediocre to just plain bad, and a cast of characters that never manages to generate any chemistry. The whole thing makes for a film watching experience that is lucky if it leaves you feeling bored, but is just as likely to irritate you with its startling lack of originality.
To the film's credit, Quarter Life Crisis does make an attempt at introducing a clever plot twist at the tail-end of the second act. Unfortunately, the clever plot twist is actually rather stupid, and manages to squeeze out whatever few drops of intelligence the film may have had, rendering it as dumb as it is predictable and unoriginal.
Quarter Life Crisis is presented in 1.33:1 widescreen. The fact that the DVD has good picture quality is the most positive thing that can be said about this movie. The transfer is good, and the colors are vibrant. Unfortunately, the story is weak and the film is dull.
Quarter Life Crisis is presented in 2.0 Dolby Digital. The sound mix is good and the audio levels are more than acceptable; of course the same can't be said for the story and the dialog.
A behind the scenes featurette (20 min.) fails to make the film seem more interesting, and actually becomes so annoying with its aw-shucks-we're-making-a-movie vibe that you can't help but like the film less. There is an audio commentary with director and co-writer Kiran Merchant, but there's no way I was about to listen to it, nor was I about to watch any of the deleted scenes. The scenes in the movie were enough to not entertain me, there's no reason to sit through the scenes deemed unworthy of being in a movie that was so difficult to watch.
When all is said and done, even the most remotely entertaining moments of Quarter Life Crisis are not enough to warrant watching this predictable mess.
David Walker is the creator of BadAzz MoFo, a nationally published film critic, and the Writer/Director of Black Santa's Revenge with Ken Foree now on DVD [Buy it now]