The Automatic Hate
Releases March 11th 2016 (Limited - Los Angeles)
1 hr 37 mins
Director: Justin Lerner
Writer: Justin Lerner and Katherine O’Brien
Joseph Cross as Davis Green
Adelaide Clemens as Alexis Green
Deborah Ann Woll as Cassie
Richard Schiff as Dr. Ronald Green
Ricky Jay as Joshua Green
Yvonne Zima as Anne Green
Vanessa Zima as Amanda Green
Catherine Carlen as Sarah Green
Caitlin O’Connell as Dr. Marsha Green
Secrets are no fun. And secrets between family are even worse. The Automatic Hate is proof of that. However, while the overall plot is straightforward, the act of conveying the message is a little jumbled. It seems to work so hard at being artistic that it ruins an otherwise compelling plot line. The movie plays out more like a soap opera than the drama it claims to be. It does, however, achieve an enormous amount of discomfort, leading you to feel as if you are witnessing the action firsthand and not enjoying much of it.
Davis, a young member of a complicated family, is visited by a girl claiming to be his cousin while going through a difficult time with his girlfriend. He soon discovers that his father has a brother about whom he did not know. So he ventures out to see his family. He grows close with his cousin, Alexis, and with her help, amasses a ton of evidence as to the reason behind the family breakup. Simple enough. But in the midst of these simple details, there are some odd scenes that seem to just lengthen the movie for no reason.
Cross does an uncomfortably good job at playing the star-crossed cousin. His instant connection with Alexis is so palpable from the get-go that you can see their romance a mile away. Adelaide, who plays Alexis, however, takes her acting to melodramatic heights, overplaying her feelings and making them unrelatable and more psychotic than I believe even the Director would have liked. Because of that, everything but the main secret is pretty predictable.
As tension grows, the family is forced to come together again to mourn the loss of their grandfather, the same grandfather who freaked out when Davis’ estranged uncle’s name came up. This makes for a seemingly inconsistent plot twist, wherein two brothers who seemed as if they were completely unwilling to come together, suddenly agree to see one another. It is even more inconsistent since the deceased seemed to dislike the brother in question.
Once together again, more than just old secrets come out, but by the time we find why the two brothers were fighting, another secret diminishes the shock value. Overall the movie was okay, but it feels like it’s trying too hard to be more artistic than it actually is, especially with its odd ending. Its inconsistencies ruin the overall entertainment factor. I wouldn’t recommend putting this on your pay-to-play list if you’re not a soap opera fan. If you are, catch it in Los Angeles beginning March 11th, with a nationwide release to follow.
Rating: 2.5 Star out of 5 Stars