Wonderful World

The first thing I always think of when I hear of Matthew Broderick is Ferris.  He played such an iconic role in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off that I feel ruined for any future film he does.  I don’t feel he’s ever really lived up to the potential that the 1980’s film created for him.

In his most recent film, Wonderful World, Broderick plays Ben, a down on his luck single dad who is miserable.  He’s depressed that he’s working at a crappy job and his own daughter doesn’t want to spend time with him.  He shares a small apartment with Ibu (Michael Kenneth Williams), a friend who is very much the opposite of him.  He sees the lighter things in life and is optimistic that life is always good.

After Ibu falls ill and ends up in the hospital, his sister Khadi (Sanaa Lathan) comes to down to be by his side.  She stays with Ben in the small, cramped apartment and she helps show Ben a different side of life.  Being the cynic that he is, Ben destroys his new relationship just as it’s beginning with Khadi and she leaves town.

Alone again and more lost than ever, a tragedy occurs and Ben decides to right his wrongs.  He goes to visit Khadi and he is awakened to something that Ibu told him long ago.  Upon his return, he attempts to fix his relationship with his daughter and begin anew.

I really liked Broderick in this role.  I felt he looked much better than some of his more recent projects.  He has had some modest hits over the years with Election and Broadway’s The Producers, but I’d love to see him try more mainstream work.  Broderick had such personality as Ferris and that’s what I miss from so many of his current performances. 

I didn’t really feel the chemistry between Broderick and Lathan.  I actually thought the pairing was quite strange.  It made sense storywise, but I just didn’t believe the connection between the two.  Jesse Tyler Ferguson, of Modern Family fame, was a nice surprise to see in this small film.  I didn’t love his character, but it’s always nice to see actors you find appealing in other roles.

This indie is a pleasant film experience.  The story lags a bit at times, but the message of positivity and second chances is quite appealing.  I’d recommend it if you are a fan of indie, character driven films

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