From the November 10, 1995 Chicago Reader. — J.R.
The Doom Generation
Rating ** Worth seeing
Directed and written by Gregg Araki
With James Duval, Rose McGowan, Johnathon Schaech, Cress Williams, and Dustin Nguyen.
Kicking and Screaming
Rating *** A must see
Directed by Noah Baumbach
Written by Baumbach and Oliver Berkman
With Josh Hamilton, Olivia d’Abo, Chris Eigeman, Jason Wiles, Carlos Jacott, Eric Stoltz, Elliott Gould, Cara Buono, and Parker Posey.
Chet: Here’s a joke. How do you make God laugh?
Chet: Make a plan.
— Kicking and Screaming
As luck would have it, I had my second looks at The Doom Generation and Kicking and Screaming, two radically different youth movies about defeat and paralysis, back-to-back. Both seemed better the second time around, though for very different reasons. Noah Baumbach’s first feature, Kicking and Screaming, which I’d originally seen and liked at Cannes last May, seems to have been tightened up in the editing and given more focus. Perhaps because I disliked Gregg Araki’s fifth feature, The Doom Generation, when I first saw it last August, I found it harder to decide on a second viewing whether it had been changed in the interim; in any case I found myself disliking it less.… Read more »