Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Run Time: 1 hour, 38 minutes, Not Rated
Starring: Michael Cera, Gaby Hoffmann, Juan Andres Silva, Jose Miguel Silva, Agustin Silva
Written & Directed by Sebastian Silva (Old Cats, The Maid)
Be careful what you wish for. For those that saw the recent comedy, This Is the End, one of the highlights of the film was the image-shattering performance by Michael Cera - playing himself - as a coked-up sexual deviant roaming around a house party. If you were hoping to see more of Cera in this sort of role, you're in luck...kind of. In the small, independent film, Crystal Fairy (opening today), Cera returns as a similar character, but in a film that is not nearly as inviting. Or half as effective as a comedy.
Yes, Crystal Fairy is destined to become a cult-classic amongst stoners and modern-day tree-huggers, best suited for screenings in certain fraternity houses across America. It is a road-trip comedy, featuring an uptight but liberal-minded Cera and a group of friends (all first-time actors and real-life brothers of director Sebastian Silva), who travel through Chile in search for a magical cactus that apparently causes legendary hallucinogenic trips. Instead they come across the free-spirited hippy, Crystal Fairy (Gaby Hoffmann), and low-energy hilarity ensues.
The full title of the film is Crystal Fairy & The Magical Cactus & 2012. The film is not nearly as graceful as its title. Director Sebastian Silva allegedly made the film in 12 days during the down-time of another film of his, the upcoming Magic Magic, also starring Cera. Most scenes were improvised off of an outlined script and it shows. This relaxed style of film-making gives Crystal Fairy a careless drift. But it doesn't bode well in creating an interesting group of characters worth investing in.
Cera definitely shows range here, but I for one sort of wish he didn't. His coked-up character in This Is the End was clearly (hopefully?) an extreme caricature. In Crystal Fairy, it's sort of a downer that he inhabits a more grounded reality.
There are sure to be people who like Crystal Fairy, but they are probably the sort of people who like any movie where drug use is glorified - and there are certainly good films that do so. But this is just a meandering and detached waste. Despite some real effort from Cera and former child-star Gabby Hoffmann, there isn't much worth caring about here.
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