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Louis C.Ok.’s ‘Fourth of July’ Delivers First-Charge Dysfunction


You’d drink, too, for those who needed to spend time with the brood in “Fourth of July.”

Director Louis C.Ok.’s movie follows a recovering alcoholic coming to phrases together with his hardscrabble roots. Starring and co-written by comic Joe Record, the dramedy lacks a single second of artifice.

It’s so actual, so uncooked you’ll Google the closest remedy group earlier than the top credit roll.

Brimming with perception, humor and the tractor pull of household dysfunction, “Fourth of July” might emerge as one in all 2022’s finest movies.

Record stars as Jeff, a jazz pianist working laborious to remain sober. He checks in often together with his sponsor and simply started sponsoring a newly dry AA member (Robert Kelly, heartbreaking).

Jeff is staring down one other household reunion, and he’d slightly do something than endure their firm as soon as extra.

He senses it’s the proper time to confront his mother and father for the emotional wreckage of his life. Which means leaving his spouse behind and dealing with his household on his personal.

Good luck.


There’s Uncle Kevin (a killer Nick Di Paolo), who greets Jeff by waving a bottle of booze underneath his nephew’s nostril. Naomi (Tara Pacheco) is the brand new invitee, who takes within the household’s wall of noise with appreciable poise.

After which there’s Jeff’s mother and father (Paula Plum, Robert Walsh). They’re locked into the annual gatherings, one supplying the meals, the opposite paternal silence.


C.Ok. seems, briefly, as Jeff’s therapist, and you would like he had extra display time. The position fits him, however it additionally provides us perception into Jeff’s way of thinking. He’s indignant, confused and not sure how one can proceed with the following phases of life.

Are you able to blame him?

“Fourth of July” delivers loads of emotional ache, though it’s important to squint to take all of it in. One bravura sequence follows Jeff’s father as he leaves the festivities early, looking forward to an emotional outing.

The digicam tracks Walsh like a slasher movie’s killer searching a doomed teen. We’re left questioning what the scene would possibly reveal, or if the patriarch’s frozen expression will lastly thaw. We’re quickly reminded how even essentially the most hard-hearted souls have the capability for development.

Record and C.Ok. refuse to dismiss these flawed figures.

Fourth of July nick Di Paolo Louis CK Joe list
Nick Di Paolo, Joe Record in ‘Fourth of July’

“Fourth of July” seems like we’re dropping in on an precise household reunion. The banter, rhythms and rants play out as if the ensemble had been workshopping the fabric off-Broadway for 12 months … possibly extra.

Everybody performs a selected half within the tight ensemble, from Uncle Kevin’s inappropriate slurs to Mother’s dominion over each meal. They drink as if by reflex, their feelings numb after years of fixed friction.

Our sympathies are all the time with Record, who generously underplays Jeff to let the secondary characters shine. Is Jeff as developed as he thinks he’s, although? Is that this cartoonish clan as terrible as marketed?

Household is household, and people bonds include each scars and advantages.

“Fourth of July” doesn’t ladle out acquainted bromides or squeaky-clean options. That is stark materials delivered by execs, embellished with an authenticity lacking from most indie fare.

C.Ok. is not any Woody Allen clone, a well-recognized cost towards the budding auteur. Sure, the jazzy soundtrack suggests a modest connection, however the comic’s voice is singular and true.

So are the snapshots of damaged individuals both glued to the previous or scrambling for a future on their very own phrases.

HiT or Miss: C.Ok.’s bravura “Fourth of July” reminds us why household bonds endure and the injury they trigger when left unchecked.




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