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Review: Alex Wolff’s ‘The Cat and the Moon’ quickly wears out its welcome

Alex Wolff in ‘The Cat and the Moon’
Alex Wolff in the movie “The Cat and the Moon.”
(FilmRise)

If there’s anything more tedious than listening to the F-bomb-laced blather of stoned teens it’s enduring a privileged white kid’s hip-hop affectations. Unfortunately, young Alex Wolff’s feature writing-directing debut, “The Cat and the Moon,” contains both of these things ad nauseam.

This indulgent, overlong film takes a solid hour for its bigger themes of love, loss and guilt to settle in. By then, however, the movie has tried our patience to the point that many may not care.

Wolff, a stronger actor (“Hereditary”) than filmmaker for now, plays Nick, a troubled 17-year-old sent to New York to live with his late father’s ex-bandmate, Cal (Mike Epps, a grounding force), while his mother is in rehab.

Antsy, volatile, hurting and weed-dependent, Nick befriends a circle of party-hearty classmates including some obnoxious guys (Skyler Gisondo, Tommy Nelson, Giullian Yao Gioiello) and one of their kindly girlfriends (Stefania LaVie Owen, quite good). But Nick’s a mess and, at one point, in a drug-fueled rage, beats up another kid so violently, in reality he’d land in jail.

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There are a few strong scenes — a tense faceoff with an insulted drug dealer, Cal’s truth-telling row with an unhinged Nick — that show flickers of what the film, titled for the W.B. Yeats poem, could have been in more seasoned, objective hands.

'The Cat and the Moon'
Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 54 minutes

Playing: Starts Oct. 25, Laemmle NoHo 7, North Hollywood; also on VOD


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