Kicking and Screaming


Ten years before finally achieving his masterpiece with The Squid and the Whale, Noah Baumbach made a promising debut with this talky comedy. Kicking and Screaming centers on a group of un-ambitious college grads who can’t seem to break the gravitational pull of their university town. Though the film seems glibber and falser to me now than it did in 1995, it still displays Baumbach’s talents for emotional observation and cruel, witty banter. The cast is stocked with could-bes who already have turned into whatever-happened-tos, including Eric Stoltz, Josh Hamilton, Olivia D’Abo and Chris Eigeman. The ever-sardonic Eigeman gets the film’s best line, in which he cautions his date not to upset a truck driver, because, as his license plate clearly states, he’d “already rather be bow hunting.”