Starring: Melanie Lynskey, Elijah Wood and Devon Graye
Directed by: Macon Blair
Ruth comes home one day to find her home has been burgled. Frustrated at the lack of help from the police she decides to take it upon herself to track down those responsible. Partnered alongside her obnoxious neighbour Tony, they soon discover that they’ve bitten off more than they can chew.
Melanie Lynskey plays the lead character Ruth and for me she’s most known for her role in Two and a Half Men where she played Charlie’s Stalker, Rose. Her character in this movie is the complete opposite to that in Two and a Half Men where’s she’s confident, witty and charismatic. In I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore she’s anxious, awkward and afraid to stand up for herself. I feel she’s such an under rated performer and really deserves credit for the way she portrays Ruth in this movie.
Ruth starts off living a regular mundane life where she works as a nursing assistant. She allows herself to get taken advantage of and is too afraid to voice an opinion when she’s being wronged. All that changes when she comes home one day to find her home has been burgled and the thieves have taken her laptop and Grandma’s silver. This event in Ruth’s life acts as the catalyst she needs to decide enough is enough and is tired of being pushed around. Whether it’s people cutting in front of her at the grocery store, her neighbour allowing his dog to defecate on her lawn without picking it up and to top it all off getting burgled she realises that this world has an infection and the virus is the human race. She develops a backbone and confronts her neighbour who is obnoxious at first but quickly wants to help Ruth after he realised what’s happened. Together they form an extremely unconventional detective team as they go out in search of the burglars.
Elijah Wood plays Tony who starts off being Ruth’s neighbour before helping her on her quest to retrieve her belongings and hunt down the burglars. This is the best performance I’ve seen for a very long time from Elijah and he’s such a joy to watch. He’s extremely eccentric which Elijah Woods nails and he also does a very good job by making Tony an unintentionally funny guy to watch. The chemistry between Ruth and Tony really blossoms and allows the audience to connect to them as a duo. The script is pretty strong as the movie is full of great character development, relatable real life issues and makes use of the cringe style comedy. The cringey awkward style of comedy although well used for the most part is at times a little overplayed but not so much to lose interest.
One of the main negatives about the movie is the beginning third is quite a slow burner and it does take a while before the story truly comes alive. It’s definitely worth persevering the opening as you get treated to such a delightful film by the end.
To summarise, this is a great little comedy which deserves larger exposure as both leads; Melanie Lynskey and Elijah Woods, put on a terrific show of togetherness and friendship.