I might have liked “Cop-Out” if I could understand Tracy Morgan. To me, he sounds like a drunk Bane, slurring all of his sentences into one big word. That’s more my problem than his but that problem didn’t occur during the cinematic cluster fuck known as “Why Stop Now.”
“Why Stop Now” follows a piano prodigy named Eli (Jesse Eisenberg) and the calamity of finding his mother crack so she can be eligible for rehab. Eli wants to attend a prestigious music school and wants some assurance that his mom can take care of herself, as well as his sister, Nicole (Emma Rayne Lyle), while he’s away. His mother, Penny (Melissa Leo), is pretty aware of her drug problem and stayed clean long enough to pass a urine test. She thought that would make for a more productive rehabilitation, which is probably true, but this situation isn’t covered by her health insurance… thanks Obama. Anyway, the piano audition for the ultra prestigious piano super school is on the same day and Eli is fighting the clock.
Penny has a turbulent relationship with her drug supplier, Sprinkles (Tracy Morgan), so Eli is going to have to buy the crack. Eli’s to-do list looks something like this: buy crack, make sure Mom takes said crack, drop her off at rehab, nail the piano audition. But wait! Sprinkles is out of crack and the only place he can get it is from a Mexican drug dealer. That’s a problem because Sprinkles doesn’t speak Spanish. Lucky for him, Eli is bilingual! Alright, so: translate drug deal, secure crack, buy said crack, give crack to Mom, drop her off at rehab, nail piano recital. Wait – Nicole needs to be picked up from school. Okay, so: … you get it.
When I used the phrase ‘cluster fuck’ earlier I was strictly referring to the movie’s increasingly complicated plot. “Why Stop Now” is actually a highly-organized tale of chaos. It’s a controlled demolition of cause-and-effect and a highly impressive feat by Phil Dorling and Ron Nyswaner. Not a lot of movies can depict such a wacky and twisted story in a fairly light hearted package.
Due to the movie’s chaotic atmosphere, tons of credit must go to the cast. Most of the dialog is between multiple people who ramble over each other. It’s impressive that they keep the scenes coherent while maintaining an entertaining rhythm. The same could be said for the editing. It seems like this movie could have been an erratic mess, but it flows fairly well throughout without slowing down. Good job Colleen Sharp and Suzy Elminger. I didn’t know this movie had two editors until I got to this point in the review. More impressive? I don’t know.
Overall, I was a big fan of “Why Stop Now.” People trying to be serious and failing will always be funny to me. I laughed out loud on a few occasions, but most of the movie was more of a even-though-I’m-not-laughing-
Random Stuff n’ Stuff:
-I accidentally deleted the first draft of this review. That one was better.
- I never had to buy my mom crack.
- I will never spell “Jesse” or “Eisenberg” right on the first try.