Suburban Teenage Boys and Creepy Coaches : Palo Alto

I finally saw the movie with James Franco playing a creepy coach (also with Emma Roberts, Jack Kilmer and Nat Wolff)

palo alto 1

The movie starts with Teddy (Jack Kilmer, son of Val Kilmer) and his BFF Fred (Nat Wolff), sitting in a car in a empty parking lot smoking up. The idealization of suburban teenage boys. Idealization of suburban youth culture. Cute boys with messy hair doing drugs and skateboarding. I don’t know if that’s how it works in all suburban neighbourhoods but in Palo Alto it seems that the parents are never aware of what their kids are doing or where they are. It’s the middle of the night but it’s okay because I’m driving with my intoxicated buddy who’s asking me about time travel. This movie was a perfect mix of Coppola’s aunt’s Virgin Suicides vibes but 21st century with lots of drinking and cigarettes and a beautiful soundtrack by Devonté Hynes. Mac Demarco’s Viceroy also makes an appearance.

The movie revolves around three story lines, interlinked with each other. There’s April (Emma Roberts), a misunderstood teenager who has a crush on Teddy. She’s also on the girl’s soccer team with a coach (James Franco) who pays special attention to her.

Emma Roberts and James Franco in Palo Alto

Emma Roberts and James Franco in Palo Alto

Picture credit: http://www.aceshowbiz.com/still/00009469/palo-alto-2014-03.html

Then there’s Teddy. He’s in love with April. Whenever you see him on screen he’s almost always either drinking or smoking, which kind of bothered me because it that really a reality? Was it an artistic choice to have it portrayed so often? In the beginning of the movie Teddy gets a DUI so now he has to pay up his debt by doing community service at the children’s library, then at a retirement home. Did I mention that he’s also a very talented artist? Talk about a tortured soul.

emma roberts and Jack Kilmer  in Palo Alto

emma roberts and Jack Kilmer in Palo Alto

Fred, Teddy’s BFF, is crazy. Or at least wants people to think he is. He yells for no reason and also asks weird questions. Who would you be if you time travelled in Egypt? Would you drive away if you got in a hit and run? Fred seems like the perfect friend, always coming up with crazy ideas but you also get to see a different side of him, which I found interesting.

Misunderstood teenagers living in suburbia, their parents don’t care about what they do. The aesthetics of this movie were purely Coppola. I wish my room was as cool and as messy as April’s. You know sometimes when you see a movie and you still think about it three days after seeing it? Palo Alto is this kind of movie, at least for me. Gia Coppola did a good job with her first feature film.

Emma Roberts in Palo Alto

Emma Roberts in Palo Alto

Catch Palo Alto at Cinema du Parc daily until June 26. 1 p.m., 7:40 p.m.$8.50/11.50

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