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  • by Wes Singleton

The Only Living Boy in New York, C-


Rated R, 88 minutes

If living in New York City is this boring, I'd rather live somewhere else. The likable but exceedingly dull romantic dramedy from Marc Webb, the director of "500 Days of Summer" and the Andrew Garfield Spider-Man movies is one of the most lackluster romantic films of late, wasting a terrific cast and what could've been an intriguing premise.

After graduating from college and moving to an apartment, young Thomas Webb (British actor and newcomer Cullen Turner) befriends an alcoholic neighbor ("Hell of High Water's" Jeff Bridges) who dispenses worldly wisdom alongside shots of whiskey. Webb's world soon comes crashing down when he learns that his father (Pierce Brosnan) is having an affair with a beautiful and seductive woman ("Underworld's" Kate Beckinsale). Determined to break up the relationship to save his fragile mother ("Sex and the City's" Cynthia Nixon), Thomas winds up sleeping with her, launching a chain of events that will change everything that he thinks he knows about his family and himself.

"The Only Living Boy in New York" is directed by Webb and written by Allan Loeb ("The Space Between Us"), and in spite of a talented, eclectic cast, it quickly becomes a bore about a geeky twentysomething who steals his father's mistress. What could've been a thoughtful coming-of-age story is mostly just a slog, made better by Oscar-winner Bridges as the boozy neighbor who dispenses advice as much as he drinks. If it weren't for Bridges chewing on the scenery every few minutes, it'd be much worse than it is.

It doesn't help that newcomer Turner is miscast in the lead role, it's hard to believe someone that nerdy would get someone on Beckinsale's level (who is quite lovely here); it likely would've turned out better with it's original lead actor, Miles Teller, who would've made the part more palatable. Tony and Emmy winner Cynthia Nixon gets in a few good scenes as Thomas's unstable mother, while Brosnan isn't given much to do.

The vacuous, inconsistent story doesn't lend much to character development, either, and while Bridges' scenes are by far the more entertaining, they don't tell us anything we don't already know. Thomas is seemingly clueless, then the next scene he's in bed with Beckinsale, which doesn't make much sense given he can't even hardly kiss his sorta-girlfriend Mimi (Kiersey Clemons) who's doing her best to keep him in the friend zone.

Beckinsale and Bridges try to keep things going, but for the most part the unsatisfying "The Only Living Boy in New York" is really "The Only Living Bore in New York."

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