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Life in Color (2015)

Unrated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | February 2016 (USA)
Out of work and with no place to live, a fired nanny and a struggling comedian are stuck house-sitting together. To get back on their feet, this odd couple reluctantly helps each other ... See full summary »

Director:

Katharine Emmer

Writer:

Katharine Emmer
Reviews
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Josh McDermitt ... Homer
Katharine Emmer ... Mary
Adam Lustick ... Adam
Jim O'Heir ... Bill Winters
Fortune Feimster ... Zoe
Katrina Begin ... Erin
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Matt Aidan Matt Aidan ... Comedy Competition Comic (as Matthew Aidan)
Brett Benner ... Mr. Appleton
Conroe Brooks ... Comic Student
Mayra Celaya ... Christopher's Girlfriend
Emma Daily ... Emma
Alana Grace ... Female Comic
Bryan Harnden Bryan Harnden ... Bartender
Kevin Jack Kevin Jack ... Steven (as Kevin Farias)
Lola Jones Lola Jones ... Birthday party guest
Learn more

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Storyline

Out of work and with no place to live, a fired nanny and a struggling comedian are stuck house-sitting together. To get back on their feet, this odd couple reluctantly helps each other overcome the very personal obstacles that are holding them back - both in life, and from each other.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

f rated | See All (1) »

Taglines:

When you're broke, sometimes you have to share

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Life in Color won the Special Jury Prize at the Napa Valley Film Festival. See more »

User Reviews

 
Life In Color: Incredible Debut, Intimate Writing
14 February 2016 | by bsquared318See all my reviews

One of the great pleasures of cinema is that repeated viewings can give way to new gems and intriguing layers dwelling within the very fabric of the film. I first saw Katharine Emmer's Life in Color last year at SXSW, where I praised it for exceptional acting and well-written characters despite its familiar plot. A second viewing almost 11 months to the day after first viewing the film revealed just how brilliant and intimate the writing itself is. Without it, the characters and the actors portraying them would not shine as bright as they do.

Life In Color marks an incredible debut by Katharine Emmer, who in addition to writing and directing the film also serves as the its star, editor and producer. The comparisons to other artists like Joe Swanberg and the Duplass brothers aren't just obvious; they're well-deserved. Emmer's film exudes a confidence and dedication only seen in the most promising of debuts.

Emmer plays Mary, who works a mirthless job as a nanny to children she despises. Costar Josh McDermitt plays Homer, a struggling comedian taking jobs as a birthday clown. Abruptly out of work and nowhere to go, the two find themselves stuck house-sitting together. The chemistry between the film's two stars is natural and entertaining, with Emmer's writing deftly revealing more facets and sides to her characters in a way that keeps the audience engaged throughout.

Emmer employs the most minimalist of plots here. Most of the driving force here is Homer's desire to enter a standup comedy competition, with the rest dedicated almost purely to character moments. The film never exactly stalls because of this, but at times Life In Color spends a bit too much time treading water when it could be confidently swimming in the deep end. Luckily, an eclectic group of side characters sprinkled throughout the film helps keep the treading to a minimum.

Jim O'Heir Life in ColorFortune Feimster's performance as a fellow comic doesn't even feel like acting, boosting the naturalism that makes the film so enjoyable. Jim O'Heir makes a brief appearance in a role that in a larger film would be criticized as stunt casting, but fits in perfectly here and is expertly utilized in the world that Katharine Emmer has created. The biggest standout by far in the film's supporting cast is Adam Lustick as the neurotic, overly energetic friend. Lustick is simultaneously hilarious and annoying, a hard combination to play to success. I hope this won't be the last I see of him.

Life In Color's biggest key to success is its ability to mix comedy and drama in a way that works. Mixing comedy with heavy subjects like depression and unrealized dreams could have easily been a recipe for disaster, but Emmer melds the two to create an environment that plays out in a believable and natural way. There are dozens of instances where the deadpan humor and one- liners bring down the house. In the same way, Emmer's use of a backstory or single line of dialogue provides incredible dramatic catharsis.

By the time the film came to close, I found myself wanting to know about Mary. I would have loved to see Mary be given a big cathartic moment like Homer is given with his father. The flash forward in the film's final moments skips over such a moment. We learn about Homer through his interactions with other characters, but Mary isn't really given anyone else to bounce off of outside Homer. Her character is very guarded by nature, so a way to help bring out more sides to her may have better added to her journey. That's not to say in any way that the scenes between Mary and Homer are revelatory in their own way. They are. There's lots to love here.

Despite its dark material, there's a wonderful elation flowing off the screen by the time the credits begin to roll. With her first film, Katharine Emmer has emerged as an exciting and incredibly talented voice. She has a knack for comedy, but she stages hard-hitting drama just as efficiently. Life In Color gives us two incredibly unique and interesting characters, and surrounds them with people that are just as fascinating. I'm sure they won't be her last.


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Official Sites:

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Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

February 2016 (USA) See more »

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Color:

Color
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