Standing Up, Falling Down Review: A Tale Of Two Woes

Standing up, falling down

“Standing Up, Falling Down” is a movie I decided to watch because I wanted to watch a movie that would teach me something new bout human frailties and relationships. Once I read the premise, I jumped on it. The film was directed by Matt Ratner and produced by a team led by Chris Mangano. These are not names that ring a bell. The actors too were not people who you would call A-listers. But the movie turned out to be good. Very good.

Two broken men, two battles

“Standing Up, Falling Down” is a movie about two men – two men who are facing two different battles and united in the bar where they come to lick their wounds. There is Scott played by Ben Schwatchz who returns home to New York from Los Angeles where he tried and failed as a comedian. But he is still trying.

Now, what does it feel to have a father who doesn’t really rate you and for just reasons, who think you are not Stephen Colbert (he used a different name) so you should go get a real job and tell jokes in the office? With a mother who dots on you and who doesn’t quite see you as the adult that you are and would badge in on you in the toilet when you spend too much time there because something in her tells her that while you are not outright sick that you are a person of interest otherwise she wouldn’t be counting the minutes on your toilet time. With a sister who thinks you are the prodigal son and who isn’t exactly the queen of her own affairs with the kind of men she attracts. And with a best friend who is now married and mad at you for not trying hard enough to know his kids.

Scott would later sum his career thus: “This got harder and harder and I got poorer and poorer.”

Scott has to deal with the temptation of his ex who is now married. What do you do when you see your ex or someone who’s going to run back spilling everything to them? – lie! Scott was a delight here, saying he is in town for a developmental deal with Snapchat seeing that he is now a Social Media influencer. And when they try to force you to sleep with them? – run!

Scott is 34 and trying to make something off his life.

Then there is Marty the drunken dermatologist and a lonely freak played by Billy Crystal. He is a widower with two grown kids who don’t think he is the father of the year. The daughter will talk to him once in a while the son would never. He would send voice messages after voice messages after voice messages and he wouldn’t call back. Marty begins to see it as a game – I will keep calling and leaving messages, you pick up and let’s talk or not; let’s see who gives up first.

A Fall From Grace Movie Review

One day he goes to his son’s house but the son won’t let him meet his grandchildren. One of the kids came out and was excited to see grandpa but his father bundles him back in. When Marty leaves, the kid gets to the window and waves at his grandfather who struggles to keep his tears back. This is one of the most powerful scenes in the movie. This is where Lola P would have cried like she did in this review.

What did Marty do to piss his children off this badly? They feel he abandoned their mother when she was ill and cheated on her. In his defense, Marty explains, “To love someone who lives in such a dark space where they cannot possibly love you back; to try and fail every time; it was impossible… And I tried.” His favorite quote is that regret is the only. He may be a bad man before and a drunk today but he was someone who genuinely cares for people and offers them all that he has – mostly a toothy smile, a glass of beer, and a slackened shoulder.

Marty is 65 and trying not to die a lonely man.

The movie “Standing Up, Falling Down” is about the friendship between Marty and Scott. They crash a funeral wake together. They get pulled over and threatened by the police together. They chase women together. They listen to each other and comfort each other in their rugged ways. And a speaker at the other’s burial service.

How would you rate “Standing Up, Falling Down”?

“Standing Up, Falling down” is a movie that has things to remind you of classic movies of the past one year or do we say, movies that dominated the Oscars. The comedic struggles of Scott have semblance with the struggles of the title character in “Joker“. Both of them live with their parents despite being in their 30s. But while Scott manages to retain his sanity, Arthur Fleck allowed his inner evil to come out and spill blood all over the place. The friendship between Scott and Marty has some commonality with the friendship between the characters of Leonardo Dicaprio and Brad Pitt in Tarantino’s “Once Upon A Time… in Hollywood” where the buddies never judged each other despite been conspicuously flawed.

The loneliness of Marty was a re-enactment of the loneliness faced in “The Irishman” when his children wouldn’t talk to him nor forgive him for his past. I have watched low-budget and low-risk movies in the past and they left me unsatisfied. This one can be low-anything but you can’t call it low-risk. The writers and makers of this movie took risks, they dared and they scored good points. This is a movie I would watch again. This is an 8/10 movie. Half a point for the awesome tweet at the end of the movie.

“Boo, motherf–kers.”

Image source: Showbiz Cheat Sheet

Amos JC

Amos JC

Amos JC is the head of movies and TV content.