Igby Goes Down | Chicago Reader

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Rated R · 98 minutes · 2013

Comedy drama
The title character (Kieran Culkin), a hapless 17-year-old named after a toy animal he loved as a boy, nurtures a Salinger-esque hatred of adult hypocrisy and struggles to find himself while "drowning in assholes." Almost everyone in this comedy drama (2002) is a little nuts: Igby's bitchy mom (Susan Sarandon) hits him in public for flunking out of prep school; his father goes berserk in the shower, breaking the glass and bloodying himself; a drugged-out artist has sex with both Igby and his godfather. Writer-director Burt Steers configures the story so that each incident increases the weight on Igby's shoulders, but he misses a chance to use the Manhattan setting to add to his protagonist's displacement, instead treating the city as a bland backdrop. Ryan Phillippe is particularly effective as Igby's older brother, a pompous Young Republican.

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