THE HUMANS (#PFF30)
Give me an intimate family drama any day. The Humans is an incredible stage-to-screen adaptation of a family’s Thanksgiving dinner that is ripe with slow burning drama, revelations, and familiar dynamics that will keep you hooked until the very last, artistic scene.
When a family gathers for a holiday dinner at their daughter’s New York City apartment, tensions mount and conflict rises. Stephen Karam, writer of the stage play, has put together a stellar cast in Richard Jenkins, Jayne Houdyshell, Beanie Feldstein, Amy Schumer, and Steven Yeun. While all are at their best, Schumer is the true surprise here with an all around incredible performance that balances humor and emotion. The Humans is not for anyone; many will find it too slow and lacking in developments. However, as a faithful adaptation of the original product, the film knocks it out of the park. This doesn’t mean that some parts aren’t lacking; as the story is developing, there is an impatience in just wanting to get to what you know is coming. To me, though, it all works.
The reason The Humans is so compelling is that the performances are so visceral, even when the “drama” is menial. Each actor shines, the cast’s collective chemistry flawless. There is a comfort felt by what is playing out on screen, a feeling that no family is without their drama. Imbedded in every comment, disagreement, or stomping of the feet is a palpable love between all family members that carries the film. The ending ventures back to the story’s stage roots in a quiet, fitting fade to black that begins the ultimate rumination bound to come.
The Humans hits theaters and Showtime on November 24th, 2021.
Photo from Thrillist