The New Twenty

"Very Good"

The New Twenty Review


The worst thing about The New Twenty is its inaccurate title. The kinds of relationship, real estate, and career problems this group of college friends deal with as they approach their 30th birthdays are nothing like those suffered by 20 year olds. Way ahead of the game, these people should be saying that 30 is the new 40.

Studly and ambitious Andrew (Ryan Locke), the ringleader of this close-knit band, is a high-powered, squash-playing banker ready to try his hand at an Internet startup. His fiancée Julie (Nicole Bilderback) is climbing quickly at Merrill Lynch ("Every bank needs one hot Asian chick," she jests), and her brother Tony (Andrew Wei Lin) is a gay ad exec who would love to find a real relationship. The other gay guy in the group, Ben (Colin Fickes), is a lovable loser type suffering through a humiliating string of chat room hookups and career doldrums. Rounding out the bunch is Felix (Thomas Sadoski), a deep thinker and dreamer who diagnoses himself with "a touch of existential malaise courtesy of late capitalism." Dabbling in heroin helps him get through the day.

The crucible of Manhattan life eventually pushes everyone to his or her limit. When Andrew hooks up with a delightfully foul-mouthed venture capitalist named Louie (Terry Serpico, a dead ringer for Malcolm McDowell), he quits his job, gets engaged to Nicole, and goes ahead with an expensive apartment upgrade even though now really isn't the time. He tries to hire Felix, refuses to hire the deficient but eager Ben, and eventually alienates everyone with his hard-driving ways and enthusiasm bordering on mania. Louie becomes a sort of devil, bouncing off everyone in the group, pushing their buttons, offering dangerous temptations.

Of all the friends, it's Tony who has the most success outside of the social circle, finally meeting the man of his dreams, an older college professor, and looking at a life beyond his tight little group. The others sink deeper into their destructive patterns, prodded in part by the devious Louie, and it will be tough to straighten out all the resulting entanglements.

Writer/director Chris Mason Johnson is a sharp observer of urban life, and his story moves along so briskly that you won't spend much time considering the fact that it should have been set in 1999, when a dot-com startup really could make people temporarily toss their common sense aside and Merrill Lynch wasn't in the toilet. Despite the number of story lines he has to juggle, his characters are well-rounded and the performances bring them to life. Ryan Locke, more of a model than actor according to his CV, is especially good. He's the kind of dashing big man on campus who intimidated you back in school and seemed destined for greatness, even if his most valuable tools were simply a dazzling smile and a strong handshake. Would you follow him into a shaky business proposition? F---in' A, man!

The new 21.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 92 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 12th July 2008

Distributed by: Argot Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 50%
Fresh: 7 Rotten: 7

IMDB: 5.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Chris Mason Johnson

Producer: Chris Mason Johnson, Aina Abiodun

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