SXSW 2017: Like Me Review by Ashley Menzel
Film festivals are great places to see a lot of different and explorative films. One of those films at SXSW 2017 was Like Me which was written and directed by Robert Mockler and stars Addison Timlin and Larry Fessenden. The film chronicles the questionable actions of a social media obsessed millennial as she pushes the line further and further, as she is egged on by the comments on her posted videos. You never quite know what lengths Kiya will go to for more views, comments, and followers. Her travels bring her to a hotel where she meets Marshall, the owner who becomes entangled in her world and faces the consequences of that in a very real way.
The film is fascinating visually. There is a clear and defined vision that Mockler had, and it shows in the film. The colors and surreal nature of the visuals are mesmerizing and are very provocative while creating a disoriented and fun atmosphere. The use of color in some the film is very vibrant and well placed. There is one scene in particular where they are both riding in the car, and there are crazy animations and such surrounding the car. It is beautifully done and shows what Mockler was looking to create. The message that the film sends is very clear from the beginning of the film but unfortunately, never develops beyond that. It feels like a film that would’ve been incredible as a short film, but by pushing the idea as a feature length film, it lost the novelty and what made it interesting to watch very quickly.
Addison Timlin gives an excellent performance as Kiya. She is interesting and very committed to the performance. The problem lies within her character, which suffers from the fact she is so one-dimensional, never develops or evolves much and is 100% unlikable. The secondary character, Marshall (Larry Fessenden) was interesting as well and at least had more depth. Larry Fessenden gave a good performance and was the more interesting character of the film.
Like Me is visually beautiful but lacks the substance to make it a great full-length film. It showed great potential but never seemed to make the big statement for which it was reaching. I understand that it was the message that Mockler wanted to send, but it just doesn’t have enough substance to comprise a full-length film. The acting is decent, but the writing didn’t give the actors much to work with when trying to creating their characters. Mockler does make a visually stunning film and if teamed up with a great writer, I believe can do amazing things in the future.