An Appreciation of the 1995 Noah Baumbach Comedy Kicking & Screaming

Potato is an entree? Noah Baumbach’s endlessly quotable debut feature Kicking and Screaming (not to be confused with the Will Ferrell soccer comedy of the same name) chronicles the experiences of a group of recent grads as they try to figure out just what the hell they are going to do next. When aspiring novelist Grover (Josh Hamilton) loses his girlfriend Jane (Olivia d’Abo) to a writing program in Prague, he is forced to spend his days hanging with his shiftless friends, including manchild Otis (the brilliant Carlos Jacott), misanthropic Max (Chris Eigeman), naive dreamer Skippy (Jason Wiles) and eternal student/sage bartender Chet (Eric Stoltz). While Grover contemplates jetting to Prague to be with his lost love, Skippy deals with spitfire co-ed Miami (Parker Posey) and Max begins a hesitant relationship with college cafeteria worker Kate (Cara Buono).

Instead of paying attention to their problems and the ladies in their lives, these painfully familiar characters focus their attention on trying to figure out the names of each film in the Friday the 13th franchise during their frequent trips to the bar. They are utterly unwilling to grow up, even though their adolescence has long gone. At times poignant–especially in an airport scene where Grover finally tries to take control of his life, only to have his plans blow up in his face–and frequently hilarious, Kicking and Screaming revisits the emotional limbo that is post-collegiate life.