starring Justin H. Min, Sherry Cola, Ally Maki, Timothy Simons
written by Adrian Tomine, based on his graphic novel
directed by Randall Park
by Walter Chaw I feel about Randall Park's Shortcomings the same way I feel about Stephen Frears's High Fidelity (2000), in that they're both films I (would have) liked in my mid-twenties that I don't like in my early-fifties, now that the ardour of my sexual jealousy has waned in proportion to my increased confidence in myself and my marriage. Similarly, I see the angst of its essentially unlikeable hero as distasteful rather than relatable and not meaningfully salved by trenchant cultural observations or incisive insights or wit, what little there is of it. It's...a bit of a wallow in the company of a meanspirited, self-hating narcissist so self-destructive it's easy to lose empathy for the three women in his life he takes for granted, abuses, and otherwise exploits. He's a charisma vampire, sucking the energy out of every environment. He's a black hole--and like most black holes, his primary function is to suck. I'm aware that Woody Allen made an entire career out of ethnically sucking, but I'd offer that at least Woody, in his prime, was funny. A creep, maybe, but a funny creep.