One of my personal guidelines when selecting films to see at a festival is to avoid anything with “coming of age” in the description. Based on the glowing reviews for Farah Goes Bang at this year’s Mill Valley Film Festival and the fact that it won the Nora Ephron Award at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. I thought I’d take my chances. Fail. I think I’ll re-institute my policy next year.
First of all, these women are too old to be considered “coming of age”. That’s a term usually reserved for teenagers and these women are well into their 20s. Second, I think the film could just as well have been titled Women Behaving Badly. Maybe teenage and twenty-something women will enjoy the film’s irreverence, but it didn’t work for me. My wife had it right when she said the film was “sophomoric” — a perfect description.
In the title role, Nikohl Boosheri is the only likable one of the three leads. The other two are just bitchy and obnoxious. They’re talented actresses, but here they’ve been cast into a hybrid of Thelma and Louise and a female version of The Hangover. Without the laughs.
I started out disliking the film — can you tell? — but when we got to sex intercut with fireworks, I just wanted to leave the theatre. I mean really — didn’t we get over that metaphor in the first semester of film school?