Film Review: ‘C.O.G.’ is a Touching Indication of Life’s Crossroads

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CHICAGO – Finding identity, especially in the post-collegiate twentysomething time of life, is often fraught with accidental circumstance and heartache. The new film “C.O.G.,” adapted from a short essay from author David Sedaris, is a beautifully sensitive comedy about that rocky identity road, portrayed through a youthful and somewhat clueless preppy from Yale.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

C.O.G.” is perfectly adapted by writer/director Kyle Patrick Alvarez, and exquisitely portrayed by an ensemble cast anchored by Jonathan Groff. It never overplays the narrative hand regarding Groff’s persona, and the transition that occurs within him in the film is discovered simultaneously by the character and the audience – especially if there is no knowledge of the source essay by David Sedaris. This is a nice snapshot of America as well, the part of the country that is considered either “flyover” or “backwards,” and it’s refreshing to see the Eastern elitist more of a fish-out-of-water than his fellow small town archetypes. It is also about faith, youth and that time of life in which experiencing the journey is much more educating than the blank slates presented in classrooms. Everyone, at some level or another, can relate to this film.

David (Jonathan Groff) arrives in Oregon from Yale University, fresh off a graduate degree. He seeks the road of experience, taking a job with immigrants picking apples. His girlfriend Jennifer (Troian Bellisario) was to join him, but at the last minute decides not to do it and leaves him there alone. Luckily the crusty old orchard owner named Hobbs (Dean Stockwell) takes a shine to David, and gets him a job at the apple sorting plant.

It is at the plant that the differences in social/economic circumstances come to light for David. A friendly fork lift operator named Curley (Corey Stoll) is his only co-conspirator in town, but that relationship ends when Curley unleashes some surprising secrets. David quits the plant, and is taken in by a Christian emissary named Jon (Denis O’Hare) – an army veteran, stone carver and church goer. This is the phase that David requires to understand himself, but what results might be too much to bear.

C.O.G.” has a limited release on September 20th, including Chicago at the Gene Siskel Film Center. See local listings for theater locations and show times. Featuring Jonathan Groff, Dean Stockwell, Corey Stoll, Denis O’Hare and Troian Bellisario. Screenplay adapted and directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of ”C.O.G.”

Jonathan Groff, Denis O”Hare
David (Jonathan Groff) Seeks Counsel from Jon (Denis O’Hare) in ‘C.O.G.’
Photo credit: Focus World

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of ”C.O.G.”

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