Featuring an easygoing atmosphere and an interesting story, Big Bear is a highly underrated comedy about male relationships. It also shines a light on several very important subjects like love, marriage, and friendship. It dances a fine line between Hangover, Very Bad Things, and much more serious movies. I feel like they used humor to coax people into a deeper examination of their lives and relationships. And I know this is a familiar subject but here it feels honest and moving. Especially if you’ve been in a similar situation. And let’s face it, most of us have been in one way or another. I just don’t want you to think this is that quirky and pretentious dramedy because it’s most certainly not.
Not afraid to take risks, Big Bear may sometimes feel clunky. However, the willingness to try out new things and go places makes up for that. Plus, for every joke that didn’t land, there’s one that fucking nailed it. Most of them fall somewhere in between. There’s a dark undertone that never gets fully fleshed out and I think this is the movie’s main problem. It tried to be too many things at once and this messed with the overall tone. Still, if you’re looking for something unassuming, creative, and mildly entertaining, Big Bear will surely do. The cast was excellent, led by Joey Kern who also wrote and directed this movie. I should also mention Pablo Schreiber and Adam Brody, who stood out with their committed performances.
Joe is a bit nervous, gathering his courage to get out of the car and join his friends at the cabin. They’ve all traveled to Big Bear Lake to celebrate his upcoming wedding and throw one hell of a bachelor party. The four of them haven’t seen each other in a while and this is a great opportunity to catch up. However, right from the start things will start going from bad to worse. And then to fucked up, intense and everything else in-between.
You don’t know it and how could you, but I just deleted a pretty big rant about toxic masculinity and my experiences with it. That’s something that most males will have to deal with at one point in their lives. It’s sad to think that most of them will do so only on their death bed, saying well what’s done is done. And while I don’t think that seeing this movie when I was younger would have influenced me in any way, I’m not everybody. For you, it might provide some insights that you find immeasurably valuable. And have a few laughs too. It reminded me of another underrated comedy dealing with relationships, Night Owls.
Finally, with a runtime of just over eighty minutes, Big Bear doesn’t ask much of you and it’s willing to provide a lot. It feels down-to-earth, realistic, and heartfelt, despite the initial setup. The pacing is relatively fast and it will keep your attention as we jump from one crazy situation to the next.
Director: Joey Kern
Writer: Joey Kern
Cast: Joey Kern, Adam Brody, Pablo Schreiber, Tyler Labine, Zachary Knighton, Toby Huss, Heidi Heaslet
Fun Facts: Per one interview of Ginnifer Goodwin in “Life is short” podcast, this movie is based on her breakup with Joey Kern.
IMDb Link: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4986754/