The Year of Spectacular Men is a charming romantic comedy bringing the women in the Deutch family together in one film.
Lea Thompson directs from a screenplay that is written by her older daughter, Madelyn Deutch. Madelyn stars along side her younger sister, Zoey, and their mom. Because of having a lifetime of chemistry, none of it feels forced. It feels so natural watching the three of them behave together as they do. Madelyn doesn’t only write the script and star in the film but she contributes some catchy tunes!
Izzy Klein (Madelyn Deutch) suffers as most millennials do upon graduating from college. She’s in a rut with no clue of what to do now that she’s graduated. After a breakup with her boyfriend, Izzy feels deserted in New York City. Younger sister Sabrina (Zoey Deutch), a movie star in her own right, is able to convince Izzy to move back home to Los Angeles. Izzy does so and lives with Sabrina and her boyfriend, Sebastian Bennett (Avan Jogia). Izzy has some emotional issues to work out as a result of her dad’s death. She’s unable to cope with the fact that her mom, Deb (Lea Thompson), is dating a younger woman, Amythyst Stone (Melissa Boloña).
Over the next year, Izzy spends all of her energy by dating five spectacular men: Aaron Ezra (Jesse Bradford), Ross Wyeth (Cameron Monaghan), Logan Holt (Brandon T. Jackson), Mikey McCallum (Zach Roerig), and Charlie Reed (Nicholas Braun). Izzy puts pen to paper to write stories about those romances in a notebook. Some people would probably cope in other ways but Izzy does it in her own way.
With her original screenplay, Madelyn Deutch offers a much-needed fresh voice. We’re still in an era where young women almost always never get the same opportunities as men. It’s unfortunate but the female perspective seems like it should be just as important. That said, a female-fronted comedy such as this one is fun to watch because of the natural chemistry. Deutch comes from an acting family so it makes sense there are roles written with both her mom and sister in mind.
The film may be a smaller indie film but with the way that Thompson directs it, it doesn’t even feel that way. It’s beautifully made and beautifully shot. Each city in the film has its own color palette thanks to cinematographer Bryan Koss.
A charming film from start to finish, The Year of Spectacular Men is a film that fits in perfectly alongside all the John Hughes titles.
DIRECTOR: Lea Thompson
SCREENWRITER: Madelyn Deutch
CAST: Madelyn Deutch, Avan Jogia, Nicholas Braun, Jesse Bradford, Lea Thompson, Brandon T. Jackson, Zack Roerig, Melissa Boloña, and Zoey Deutch
Following the world premiere at the 2017 LA Film Festival, MarVista Entertainment will release The Year of Spectacular Men in select theaters and VOD platforms on June 15, 2018.