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Movie Review: '#Like'

by Sean Patrick about a year ago in movie
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Two thirds of a really good movie, #Like stumbles in the final act.

After the first two acts of #Like, I began writing a very positive review in my head. The movie begins to weave a very compelling story very early on about a once popular teenager, former cheerleader, deeply disillusioned by the death of a loved one. So disillusioned is our protagonist that she begins a quest for revenge that feels raw and organic in the way that someone whose never had a violent motivation before might plot revenge.

Unfortunately, #Like keeps lining up a big gut punch that it never delivers. Despite an effective lead performance by newcomer Sarah Rich and an of the moment story involving social media, bullying and cyber-stalking, #Like falls apart with a final act that completely fails to deliver on the promise of the first two acts. It’s a shame too because those first two acts are remarkably compelling.

#Like tells the story of a grieving teenager named Rosie (Rich). One year to the day that this story is being told, Rosie’s little sister, Amelia (Samantha Nicole Dunn), died. We will learn what happened to Amelia as the story goes on. With the one year anniversary of Amelia’s death, Rosie has grown despondent and is drawn back to poring over her little sister’s social media posts, including her YouTube channel where she posted charming art tutorials and music videos.

While scrolling through Amelia’s social media, Rosie gets the idea to start looking through her sister’s accounts. After guessing her password she’s able to see her private messages and when she responds to one creepy message, the creep writes back. He appears unaware that Amelia has been dead for a year. Thus Rosie begins to piece together who this guy is and the role he played in her sister’s death.

Several clues point Rosie toward a local handyman, identified in the cast list as ‘The Man’ and played by Marc Menchaca. Immediately convinced that this is the man who was responsible for her sister’s death, Rosie begins to follow him and eventually lures him to her house. There, she’s able to spike his beer and take him hostage. Her plan is to torture a confession out of this man.

#Like was written and directed by Sarah Pizorak in her feature film debut after years working in short films, television and documentaries. Pizorak is crafty and the first two thirds of this movie are really compelling. Sadly, she apparently never found an ending. The final third of the movie is just spinning its wheels. Rosie makes a specific point of never discussing Amelia with The Man, never asking him to confess to what he may or may not have done to her specifically.

Eventually, Rosie spends so much time dancing around the point that it becomes clear that the movie has no idea where it wants to go at a certain point. There is one third act revelation that looked like it had potential but then that plot point is dismissed and from there confusion reigns. In the end, there really isn’t any kind of resolution to the plot. I’m not sure what happened to these characters by the end.

#Like goes from being a shocking and exciting take on themes previously tread upon in movies like Hard Candy or other such female revenge movies and then ends on a note more suited to a television show. Imagine watching a really good movie that decides to become an episode of a teen drama series in the final 10 minutes. That’s the kind of disappointment that #Like inspires with its uninspired and downright confounding ending.

It’s such a shame too because star Sarah Rich is so terrific. Rich reminded me just a little of Jessica Rothe from the Happy Death Day movies. Not merely because both are attractive and blonde but rather, because both have strong instincts and attention to detail in crafting characters. Rich doesn’t get to show off the kind of sense of humor that makes Rothe one of my favorite rising stars, but it’s not hard to imagine Rich showing even more range and talent in the future. Her performance in most of #Like, when the movie isn’t letting her down, is really great.

#Like is available on streaming rental as of January 26th.

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About the author

Sean Patrick

Hello, my name is Sean Patrick He/Him, and I am a film critic and podcast host for Everyone's a Critic Movie Review Podcast. I am a voting member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the group behind the annual Critics Choice Awards.

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