Phil (which can be found on-demand and in some theaters) is an utter mess. As someone who has seen some doozies in 2019, for more to break out the “m” word is saying something. The storyline doesn’t connect with the audience and at times can be confusing. Greg Kinnear attempts to both act and direct in this release and fails to do either. Kinnear showed no awareness of how to effectively pace this Stephen Mazur causing most of Phil to plod along slowly for one hour and forty minutes. It got to a point where I was just annoyed as hell and wanted it all to end.
There were times in the movie where I felt lost like the main character, Phil (Kinnear). The tale is just meandering changing from a story about a man contemplating his life, to him throwing on a fake accent and fooling a widow of a former patient of Phil’s (he’s a dentist) played Emily Mortimer. The camera work at times was confusing spending time on characters that mattered little to the plot. Phil is precisely what occurs when you let someone attempt to direct, and they fail miserably.
Phil would have come off better had there been an effort to make sure the tone of the film was consistent. One minute we are dealing with deep dark issues and in the blink of an eye the film is light (not to mention Kinnear’s awful attempt at a Greek accent). It’s almost as if the film was trying to be too cute. Instead of being an in-depth look into what it means to hit rock bottom, what we end up with is an unwatchable mess. It’s too bad, cause I had high hopes.