Good lord I can’t wait to go back to the theater tomorrow. If Unhinged is only half a percent better than Amazon Prime’s new original movie, CHEMICAL HEARTS, I’ll be relieved. This film is the definition of sappy depressing teen angst for the sake of being sappy depressing teen angst. It’s a simple story that doesn’t have any new real revelations and it has been done a ton of times in better, older films. It brings absolutely nothing new to the table. The acting is fine, yet when your movie’s best feature is the score and musical choices, you might have a problem. This is a teen romance drama that is adapted from a novel, of which I can guarantee you the novel has something deeper and more to say than this movie did. The film also has a few interesting things to say about the chemicals in our brain and body and the movie didn’t end the way I thought it was going to, but that was it. Everything else is just standard: boy is a virgin that hasn’t had anything exciting happen in his life; beautiful girl with a walking cane obviously has a damaged past and a couple of emotional secrets; she is resistant at first, they fall in love, yada yada yada, shit happens, some light at the end of the tunnel, the end. You. Have. Seen. It. All. Before. This film makes A Walk To Remember look like a masterpiece. Could the movie had been better if the novelist actually wrote a screenplay off her novel? Probably, but the director took a stab at it, and it feels like his heart wasn’t into it, the creative chemicals in his imagination on autopilot.
Does it mean anything when I say this is Riverdale’s Lili Reinhart’s best performance? Not really. She’s an okay actress, but she is too old to be still playing these high school characters. Especially after I saw her in Hustlers last year. Her and Austin Abrams, who plays the male protagonist, are the same age, but while he looks like he still has a year or two left of pulling off high school roles, she’s about two years too late. Per IMDB, it describes Chemical Hearts as: “A high school transfer student finds a new passion when she begins to work on the school’s newspaper.” That log line is a bit misleading as it is more about the boy’s story finding out her story than the whole movie being from her point of view. Either way, it is all just teen angst bullshit with cliched dialogue, other than the few lines about chemicals in our system, that you’ve seen and heard all before. It’s nothing new, so if you eat up that shit with each and every viewing, you are probably going to like this movie. Out of two movies about teen angst that release this weekend, the other, Words On Bathroom Walls, is much more worth your time. And the studio that is producing that movie knows that, as Words On Bathroom Walls is actually getting a theatrical release (even though it would’ve worked as a perfect video on demand release as well), while Chemical Hearts is just being dumped on Amazon Prime. This movie deserves that fate, as it wouldn’t have had any type of reaction if it had released theatrically like it originally intended to. It’s a poor man’s “insert another better romance drama here.” The thing is, I don’t know if it’s going to even have a good chemical reaction on Amazon’s streaming platform, as it is just a beaker of water really, with the burner set on low.