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Review: Geniality, but little else, ensues in dramedy ‘All I Want’

Melissa Center as Mel in a scene from “All I Want.” Credit: Indie Rights
Melissa Center in the movie “All I Want.”
(Indie Rights)

“All I Want,” not to be confused with the recent Sharon Stone rom-com “All I Wish,” is a breezy, largely likable ensemble dramedy that, unfortunately, has little of consequence to impart about the human condition, seemingly the film’s raison d’être.

Although first-time feature writer-director West Liang misses the boat on depth and any sort of memorable emotional unraveling, he touches on a range of realistic, recognizable feelings and dynamics: romantic, marital, parental, professional, sororal. All this as Liang places an unremarkable group of Los Angelenos under one roof for the 10th wedding anniversary party of Mel (Melissa Center) and Drew (Drew Rausch). (For some reason, most of the characters are named after their portrayers.)

Friends and family members celebrate the outwardly happy couple until Mel and Drew reveal some news which, if a surprise to their guests, may not be to most viewers. Still, it provides a catalyst to get through the film’s somewhat looser second half (drinking, smoking weed, shirtlessness, stolen kisses and more factor in) and the will-they-or-won’t-they of Mel and Drew’s wobbly — and not particularly convincing — life decision.

The movie essentially gets by on the appeal of its attractive and capable, if largely interchangeable, cast (including Josh Casaubon, Jonathan Chase, Susan-Kate Heaney, Rebecca Larsen and many others) and the fair expectation that more is going to happen than actually does.

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‘All I Want’

Rating: R, for some sexual content and partial nudity.

Running time: 1 hour, 28 minutes

Playing: Arena Cinelounge, Hollywood

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