East Fifth Bliss (2011)

October 06, 2011 By Mike B
Movie Review

What Worked?

The feeling of being stuck at a certain point in your life is relative, it’s something we all fear, and it’s even scarier when you’re comfortable with being at a stand still point like that. East Fifth Bliss explores the life of a man named Morris Bliss, played by Michael C. Hall, who dreams of traveling are locked in as merely a hope due to his lack of motivation to do anything. Michael Knowles directs this coming-of-age Dramedy, surrounding Hall with a talented cast that includes Sarah Shahi, Lucy Liu and Brad William Henke.

The film feels cozy, with comfortable colors that match the quirky characters. The soundtrack, which is Greek music, is also comforting. There are nice little subtleties that define the character of Morris, such as the slow shedding of his clothes when he sleeps, that deepen the character. The film moves at a pace that allows the main character of Morris to grow.

Michael C. Hall is the main event as Morris Bliss, a man in his mid-30s that has absolutely nothing going for him besides crazy girls that want him. Hall is far from his well-known serial-killer character, as he is a fumbling, hesitant and frustrated man that desperately needs to grow up. He’s a loser, but he still seems to be interesting enough to get two beautiful girls wanting him. Brad William Henke plays “Jetski,” Morris’ friend from highschool that he doesn’t even remember. Henke turns in a wonderful performance that is humorous and fun; he really captures that guy that sorely misses highschool so much that he wants to re-live the memories very well.

East Fifth Bliss is a down to earth film about a man trying to move forward. Many times it’s quirky, and it has a subtle hold that isn’t evident, but you feel it. We can relate to Morris because we’ve all been in that zone of nothingness.

Potential Drawbacks:

Some may think the film doesn’t hold any significant impact because the surrounding stories aren’t fleshed out or interesting enough. Things just happen to Morris, and a good portion of the jokes don’t work completely because the audience doesn’t care enough for the characters.

The performances are great, but many of the characters feel like they don’t really add anything to the film. Some say the story is random or messy, and that the novel should have not been adapted for the silver-screen. Novel’s can go off on tangents, but translating that to film is fairly difficult.

The main character of Morris Bliss may be a bit too dull for some viewers. He attracts interesting characters and beautiful girls, but some may scratch their heads and ask “why?”

Film Recommendations:

Garden State
Trees Lounge

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