Melissa B. Miller Constanzo’s directorial debut, “All These Small Moments,” delivers what the title promises: a collection of quiet interludes during a period of great turmoil in a young man’s life. But ultimately, we’re only left wondering what they all add up to.
Brendan Meyer stars as Howie, a teenage boy with a broken arm and an unrequited crush on a woman who rides the same Brooklyn bus he takes to school. Odessa (Jemima Kirke) is a beautiful, elusive, sad woman whom Howie follows long enough for her to take notice. His fascination with Odessa, and a classmate, Lindsay (Harley Quinn Smith), are a respite from his tumultuous home life, where his parents (Molly Ringwald and Brian d’Arcy James) are perpetually on the verge of divorce and his younger brother Simon (Sam McCarthy) spends his time hanging out with a group of immature bros.
There are pangs of poignancy in “All These Small Moments”: a poem scrawled on a postcard handed to a crush at the farmers market, a library confession about an attempted assault, the ebb and flow of tension and forgiveness that flow throughout the family home. But the characters make such unrealistic, outlandish choices at almost every turn that it’s hard to buy into their journeys. The pace is so measured as to be stultifying, and at the end of the film, you have to wonder where all of this is going, and ultimately, what is it for?
‘All These Small Moments’
Running time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Playing: Laemmle Royal, West L.A.; also on VOD