Angsty twentysomething rom-com “The Year of Spectacular Men” is a family affair for the Thompson-Deutch household, and a perhaps unintentionally meta one at that. Writer and star Madelyn Deutch plumbed the depths of her journals to pen the script and plays the floundering Izzy, looking for answers with all the wrong men. Deutch’s mother, Lea Thompson, makes her directorial debut on the film, and plays Izzy’s mom as well. Zoey Deutch, Madelyn’s sister, plays Izzy’s sister, the wildly successful movie star Sabrina.
It’s all just a little too head-spinningly autobiographical, especially considering that Avan Jogia, who plays Sabrina’s boyfriend, TV star Sebastian, is Zoey’s real-life ex. One might spend half of the film trying to suss out the real from the fake, as everyone plays lightly fictionalized versions of themselves (the girls’ father in the film is deceased; actual dad Howard Deutch stays behind the camera as producer).
It’s a fine debut for Madelyn, but the film is a little too pleased with its own cutesy, quirky writing and Izzy, unfortunately, rides a treacherous line between endearing and annoying.
Thompson’s directing is serviceable, if slightly scattered and derivative, using every rom-com trope and flourish available. “The Year of Spectacular Men” feels a bit long and self-involved — and a lot like the men whom Izzy dates, it’s fun but far from spectacular.
‘The Year of Spectacular Men’
Running time: 1 hour 42 minutes
Playing: Laemmle Monica Film Center, Santa Monica