Breakfast with Curtis
When nine-year-old introvert Curtis throws some leaves at his neighbor’s cat it triggers five years worth of animosity. But aging beat poet and general eccentric Syd doesn’t hold onto the past. He recruits Curtis to make videos about his unusual life to promote his book business online. Over the summer, Curtis comes out of his shell and we join Syd and the oddball gang who live in the old Victorian house called the Purple Citadel for drunken ping pong tournaments, foreign films projected on the walls and a lot of wine and cocktails.
Curtis’s parents are pretty mainstream compared to Syd’s girlfriend Pirate, upstairs artists Frenchie and Paola and elderly free-thinking Sadie. But their desire to have as much fun and be as open to experience at the Citadel bunch is one of the main themes in the film. Syd’s universe made me want to build tightropes, mix daiquiris, pound out poetry on a typewriter and generally eschew the hectic emptiness of contemporary life. At one point Syd describes the final resting place of his previous cat (under Buddha) and riffs on his cat’s afterworld adventures which seem to involves some kind of underground railroad and doing calculations on an abacus...
This film by Laura Colella is wonderfully subtle throughout with such a light editorial touch that it is never obvious and never preachy. Curtis’s transformation is minor but sweet and lovely. Each character has a story but none are overly-dramatic or forced. His older friends tell Curtis about their seminal summers and he starts to get an idea of what life could hold for him. And how a seminal summer can happen even at fourteen.
It is brilliant that the conflict in this film comes from a minor incident but that the story is never boring. Breakfast with Curtis is gentle and beautiful but with a lot to say. And kudos for the mumblecore-esque ending to the film, which comes out of nowhere but is completely satisfying.
Oct 05 08:30 pm: Empire Granville 4
Oct 07 03:15 pm: Empire Granville 1