Beautiful Boy

Rated 3.0

Co-writers Luke Davies and Felix Van Groeningen (who also directed) tell the real-life story of the relationship between journalist Dave Sheff (Steve Carell) and his son Nic (Timothée Chalamet), and the stresses engendered by Nic’s addiction to crystal meth. In basing their script on father and son’s separate memoirs, Davies and Van Groeningen fail to provide a clear dramatic arc. The movie quickly devolves into a seemingly endless cycle of rehab, recovery and relapse, as Nic caroms between deviousness and self-loathing and Dave is tortured by concern, exasperation and guilt; the movie remains dramatically flat and frankly monotonous. On the plus side, Carell and Chalamet give fearless performances, though Amy Ryan (as Nic’s mother) and Maura Tierney (as Dave’s second wife) are unfortunately under-used.