Movie Review: 6 Balloons (2018)

Starring: Abbi Jacobson, Dave Franco and Jane Kaczmarek

Directed by: Marja-Lewis Ryan

Katie is trying to arrange a surprise birthday party for her boyfriend but upon picking up her brother and niece she learns that he has relapsed and began using heroin again. Juggling her day between taking her brother to a detox facility and applying the finishing touches to the party she slowly starts to lose control.

The main reason why I watched 6 Balloons was to watch Dave Franco in a different role. While he has been slowly building up a successful career in the world of Hollywood, much like his brother James he’s prone to being typecast in very similar roles. While he usually does do a good job in the silly comedic roles he has played in his career, 6 Balloons offered something different, he was able to show his true acting potential as he plays Seth, a heroin addict who has recently relapsed and has burnt most of his the bridges with his family already so is struggling to get the help he desperately needs. His sister, Katie, on the other hand is his saving grace and she refuses to give up on him even when at times he has given up on himself. Katie is played by Abbi Jacobson and she is somebody that I’m not too familiar with and pretty sure this is my first time seeing her in anything. Jacobson does an extremely impressive job at making this movie feel raw and real as she has to cope with the problems that her brother is causing all the while micro managing her family so they don’t find out that Seth is using again.

Both Franco and Jacobson share good chemistry and really worked well together and the scenes where Seth was relapsing were very shocking and felt extremely realistic which kudos to Franco for being able to pull it off. Unfortunately though that’s where the positives end as I felt such a serious topic that so many people struggle with not just in America but all around the world deserved better execution. While the acting from the two leads was great the story was wafer thin, script was quite mediocre and everything just felt so underwhelming. I wanted a movie about heroin addiction to truly shock me to my core about the destructive nature of the drug and while there were glimpses of it here and there I felt that it was severely lacking in other places. Finally I hated the performance of Jane Kaczmarek who played Katie and Seth’s mother. I’m not sure whether her character was meant to annoy or irritate but that’s what she did for me at least and I really hated the scenes that she was in, especially in the early part of the movie.

In conclusion, 6 Balloons was pretty underwhelming and definitely could’ve been something great given the right script but it just didn’t do it for me. Both lead performances from Dave Franco and Abbi Jacobson were very good but outside of that it was quite a routine movie which failed to address such a serious issue properly.


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