'The Worst Year of My Life' is a dispiriting romantic dramedy

'The Worst Year of My Life' a whiny, narcissistic tale of a soured romance

Imagine getting stuck on a plane next to a bitter, whiny narcissist who spends the entire flight telling you about his traumatic breakup with his lying, cheating ex-girlfriend. That's what it's like to watch "The Worst Year of My Life," a dispiriting romantic dramedy that plays like a DIY "Annie Hall," minus the laughs and charm.

Much of the film finds the faux-noble Kyle (Trevor St. John David) looking back on his three-year roller-coaster romance with Amber (Amy Vorpahl, also a producer) as he rants about her to his comely — and implausible — therapist (Cate Beehan).

Seems all was peachy between nascent stand-up comic Kyle and vegan baker Amber — at least in Kyle's mind — until Amber threw him under the bus for the hotter Todd (Nicholas Tucci). But, we will learn, money woes, communication breakdowns and childish behavior also played into the Kyle-Amber downturn.

Writer-director-editor Jonathan Smith uses wan fantasy gimmicks and a jumpy flashback structure to tell his tale. But mostly it's talk, talk, talk — and mostly by a ping-ponging Kyle ("I'm great!" "I'm a loser!"), who becomes an insufferable boor as the movie grinds on. (David's nasty-mopey performance doesn't help.)

"The Worst Year of My Life" cries out for a "he said, she said" approach, given how both Kyle and Amber contributed to their relationship's demise. But Amber so often comes off as such a dreadful mate that frankly, the less of her, the better.


"The Worst Year of My Life"

MPAA rating: None.

Running time: 1 hour, 21 minutes.

Playing: Arena Cinema, Hollywood.

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