How to Be (DVD Review)8 Nov, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Stars Robert Pattinson, Rebecca Pidgeon, Michael Irving, Powell Jones, Alisa Arnah, Mike Pearce, Johnny White.
The same year Robert Pattinson shot himself into the pop culture stratosphere playing teen vampire Edward Cullen in global hit Twilight, the 23-year actor also played Art, a young wannabe musician having an existential crisis in the independent film How to Be.
This British comedy might perplex American viewers not versed in the nonsensical European tradition that allows youth to be supported almost indefinitely by their parents — often with cushy stipends, allowances and even in separate living situations.
Art lives on-and-off at home with disaffected parents (Rebecca Pidgeon is exceptional as his aloof mother) and can’t get over being dumped by his schoolteacher girlfriend.
After reading the self-help book, It’s Not Your Fault, Art spends $5,000 hiring the book’s quack Canadian author and eccentric life coach (Powell Jones in his last film) to come to London and live with him and his parents. This investment comes after spending nearly the same amount on a used muscle car with a spotty starter.
Pattinson is indeed funny as he studiously navigates each chapter in the book throughout his daily life with the author hovering nearby. This droll comedy (which drags on a bit at the end) works in large part due to Pattinson’s penetrating stare and charm.
Timed for release the same week as Twilight sequel New Moon hits theaters, Pattinson’s mere presence on the DVD cover should send many a young female heart aflutter — and with good reason.