No Impact Man

Rated 3.0

In Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein’s documentary, an ecologically obsessed New York City writer more or less bullies his wife, their toddler and the family dog into a radical change of lifestyle, intending to go a whole year leaving no carbon footprint. (And advocating for the sustainable farming of white middle-class do-gooder guilt.) Well, somebody had to do it. To give you a sense of Colin Beavan’s priorities, here’s a guy who hesitates to have another baby not because he knows that diapers are the third largest source of trash in landfills, but because it’s his wife’s idea; he just wants to publicize his project. This doesn’t mean he’s not a compelling figure, just that the movie could have used a more developed sense of irony. In the end, it’s hard not to become distracted by wondering how much energy a documentary production requires and whether it would have been better just to go out and plant some trees instead.