Megan Stalter Shines In Millennial Dramamedy – The Hollywood Reporter

“Why do people keep asking me that?” Cora (Megan Stalter) asks somewhere about the fifth time in Cora Bora that someone angrily demanded to know what was happening to her. Her answer, when she might have bothered to give an answer, was nothing at all. But it was clear from the opening moments of Cora Bora that is very far from the case.

Her fledgling music career didn’t seem to be going anywhere, despite sweaty determination as she carried her broken guitar case from this low-attend Los Angeles club to the club. another in Los Angeles. Her love life isn’t promising anymore: Her wide-open long-distance relationship with Justine (Jojo T. Gibbs) grows increasingly distant, and the relationships she has on her side are increasingly difficult. more difficult than satisfying. When she begins to suspect Justine is in love with someone else, she impulsively buys a plane ticket back to Portland, where she causes even more trouble.

Cora Bora

Key point

Stalter offers a warm, if slightly flimsy, independent style.

Location: SXSW Film Festival (Narrator Spotlight)
Cast: Megan StalterJojo T. GibbsManny JacintoAyden Mayeri
Manager: Hannah pearl Utt
Writer: Rhianon Jones

1 hour 32 minutes

That thing Cora Bora Taking all this in and embracing her nonetheless, finding both the humor and the morbid in her millennial unrest, is key to its appeal. But if the film’s strength lies in its affection for the heroine, its biggest flaw is its relative lack of attention to the characters around her — making a film, with all its Its lovely rhythm, feels more fragile than it should be.

By far the best reason to watch Cora Bora for Stalter, who in her first lead role made a convincing case for many others. The actress is perhaps best known for her role in hack as Kayla, who is utterly incompetent only to be surpassed by her almost sick confidence. Cora shared with Kayla her basic inability to be anyone other than herself, as well as the general chaotic atmosphere. But Cora Bora also gives Stalter an opportunity to expand his reach, drawing new notes of sadness or uncertainty in Cora’s comedic voice. In the moments where the film asks her to dig deep, she breaks Cora with such raw sincerity that it’s hard to take her eyes off.

Stalter turns out to have a pretty good, if not polished, voice, too. Cora’s songs (written by Miya Folick, who has many of the soundtracks in the film, along with screenwriter Rhianon Jones) are taken from her own life, and their lyrics are hilarious in the dark. meager. “Dreams are stupid and so are you when you believe them,” said one. Another said: “Why try to be a better person when there are dating apps. When a stranger (Margaret Cho) describes a person – starting with the line “Love is a joke and it will break your heart” – as a love song, Cora rejects that label with bluntness. suggestive of a deeper injury.

Throughout, director Hannah Pearl Utt (Before you know it) captures both Los Angeles and Portland with the blazing sun that seems to envelop Cora in warmth even as she caresses one minor disaster after another. And there are many such cases: a one-night stand with a farmer (Thomas Mann) still longing for his ex, a verbal battle with an old friend (Heather Morris) over a past romantic betrayal. , quarrel with a mate. flight attendant (Caitlin Reilly) after she tries to claim a first class seat that she hasn’t paid for. At least the latter gives Cora a charming romantic potential in the form of Tom (Manny Jacinto), the handsome man she’s trying to steal.

But Tom, like so many non-Cora characters in Cora Bora, there is little depth that Cora does. One of Tom’s friends tells us that he is “attracted to perverts”, which explains why he seems so seduced by a woman who always responds to his kindness. he gruffly. However, we understand very little about why he became the way he is, or what that might mean for his past relationships, much less what it might signal for. any future relationship with Cora. The relationship between Cora, Justine and Justine’s new “friend”, Riley (Ayden Mayeri) is also explained more similarly than felt in the dialogue, with many scenes of Cora overhearing their conversation. about her – albeit in the late ’92s – the little feature they’ve built together is enough history to make a clever and truly moving twist on the romantic comedy about a romantic gesture mighty.

As for Cora herself, Cora Bora finally manages to reveal the devastating event that forced her to move from Portland to Los Angeles. But it resists the temptation to draw an all-too-clear line between her past pain and her current uncertainty. “All tramps are completely lost,” Cora sings in the first act, and in that moment it feels like an expression of anger and despair. However, the rest of her film shows that it’s okay to be lost – that Cora’s journey now, as messy or uncertain as it may be, is worth taking no matter what. Where has she been before or where she will go next.

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