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

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

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.