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I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore has become a darling of independent filmgoers, and made a fairly large splash last year at Sundance. We follow Ruth, a young woman struggling with depression and the overall irritation of life when her house is robbed. The traumatic event, and indifference from authorities, spurs her to take action and try to track down her stolen property. She enlists her oddball neighbor Tony to help her in these efforts. The two quickly become entangled in the criminal world, and things go a bit downhill.

Following Ruth’s frustrations with everyday annoyances is interesting, and offers a chance for the dark humor in the film to shine. Ruth’s sole desire is for people to not be assholes to one another—but it becomes clear this wish will never come true. The simple inconsiderate behavior around us all is a focus here, and the overall obnoxiousness of life is on full display. Home isn’t the first film to examine these issues, but the film still makes its points well.

Where the problems in this film occur is the dramatic turns come at the expense of humor. While there are several laughable moments, and the oddly compelling characters deliver the laughs well, it overall becomes more of a drama. Other films have balanced this need for humor and seriousness better. While watching, I wanted more absurd moments of Tony and Ruth getting themselves into trouble, but being funny about it. At a certain point the film transitions to a solid drama, and while these moments work, they are not as interesting.

There is a lot to enjoy in this work, but the end product doesn’t come together perfectly. Whether the film suffered from being advertised as more of a comedy, or the hype surrounding it led to impossible expectations, it simply doesn’t fire on all cylinders. I couldn’t escape feeling that the movie is okay, but little more than that. This is not to say the film isn’t good, it just failed to captivate me in the same way it has so many other people.

For those looking for a true (and well made) independent film, this one is worth watching. The two leads do fantastic work—even if the story doesn’t fully deliver.

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