For Reel

C.O.G. (2013)
November 17, 2013, 6:40 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Kyle Patrick Alvarez
3.5 Stars
C.O.G.In the opening scene of C.O.G., the first adaptation of an essay by acclaimed American humorist David Sedaris, a wayward Yale preppy observes the eccentric passengers on a bus headed for Oregon. His simultaneous bemusement and disgust is certainly a fair adaptation of Sedaris’ tone, however the film’s biggest disappointment in its early-goings is in failing to suggest the extent of Sedaris’ own self-deprecation–this David (Jonathan Groff) initially seems too smarmy and confident, reduced to little more than a sarcastic observer who greets every situation with a smirk. However, as more and more of David’s insecurities are divulged, the film achieves a handful of surprisingly poignant moments, particularly in regards to his feelings of abandonment and his struggles with his sexual identity. Even if Groff’s smirk never goes away, it becomes clear that his humility is not solely the product of his eagerness to have a transcendental experience worthy of Steinbeck, but his consuming desire for validation. Of the supporting cast of weirdos, Dennis O’Hare is remarkable as a hot-tempered evangelist who takes David under his wing.