It's no small achievement that "C.O.G." is the first movie adaptation of a David Sedaris piece (one from his book "Naked"), since the bestselling essayist-memoirist has been notoriously reluctant to have his work translated to the screen.
The bummer is that writer-director Kyle Patrick Alvarez's film is smug and flat, a checklist of awkward moments mostly devoid of the trippy emotional satire inherent in Sedaris' writing.
The trouble is it's difficult to view David's coming-of-age journey as anything but a chilly class-conscious comeuppance, since Alvarez emphasizes situational weirdness over the meaning behind lost souls negotiating connective spaces. (The indie-posturing hand-clap soundtrack doesn't help.) That isn't to say that Stoll and O'Hare don't put in overtime, effortlessly suggesting deep wells of compartmentalized, pathological loneliness. Groff's David, unfortunately, comes off like a sidekick in his own story. For Sedaris fans, "C.O.G." is a regrettably patronizing washout.
"C.O.G." Rated R for language and some sexual content. Running time: 1 hour, 28 minutes. At