Red Diaper Baby

"Very Good"

Red Diaper Baby Review


Spalding Gray is no longer with us, which means that, for all intents and purposes, the American monologue is now dead.

While no one will fill Gray's shoes -- and I'm especially talking to you poetry slam people out there -- a small cadre of up-and-comers are taking aim at his craft with their own quirky one-man rants.

San Franciscan Josh Kornbluth (best known for his indie flick Haiku Tunnel) is one of those upstarts, a rotund, sweaty, balding, and awkward fellow with a Woody Allen sensibility toward life and love. Born and raised in New York, Kornbluth spends the 90 minutes of Red Diaper Baby riffing on his upbringing from Communist parents. His mother and father separated when he was six months old, leaving Kornbluth to ping pong between his demure mother and his haughty, semi-insane father. Both are Communists, and this obviously has a debilitating effect on a childhood in Manhattan, and Kornbluth, as he enters his teen years, shifts from Commie talk to thoughts of love, namely an obsession -- later consummated -- with one of his mother's friends.

Director Doug Pray (best known for his 1996 grunge documentary Hype! and also for his DJ interviews in Scratch) does a fair job that is unfortunately too obtrusive, as he's awfully fond of the zoom control on his camera. Some editing choices are on the poor side -- there are obvious sections of the monologue chopped out, leaving rough transitions from one topic to the next. This really isn't Pray's show, though, and he (hopefully) knows it.

Kornbluth is genuinely funny and some of his stories make you laugh out loud, even if there is way too much screaming for a one-man show. Bring it down a notch, Josh, and let the events speak for themselves a little better. Ultimately, though, Kornbluth makes you interested and keeps you attentive for the full film, a tricky feat given that nominally we couldn't care less about his upbringing.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 91 mins

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

IMDB: 7.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

Advertisement
A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

At just 27 years old, Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan has an almost overwhelming set of...

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.