How To Be (with Robert Pattinson)
Have you ever watched a trailer for an independent film and said to yourself, “Wow, that looks like it might be decent–I’ll keep an eye out for it.” Then when you watch the film, you realize within the first ten minutes that the next 80 minutes of your life are going to drag on forever. The only relief you may have would be the parts of the film that were in the trailers that looked funny, but when they are in the film they are sub-par at best. If you’ve ever experienced this immense let down, then step away from the film HOW TO BE and save yourself.
HOW TO BE follows a young adult, Arthur (Pattinson), who is a depressed and anxious amateur musician trying to find himself. When he discovers a self-help book entitled It’s Not Your Fault he decides to fly in the author (Powell Jones) to help him work through his issues.
The main problem with this film is it had no real story line. The concept was there but was not shown correctly by director Oliver Irving. The audience is introduced to this pathetic character whom we’re supposed to care about but there is no reason shown as to why we should care. We’re taken through a series of awkward situations with Arthur but none of these situations really give a reason for his discontent or any redeeming quality about Arthur himself. He’s this weird guy who claims to be chronically “anxious” but there are no reasons why except that he thinks his parents were emotionally unavailable to him. There is a story that can be told and can be made charming and quirky with the right tone, but Irving missed it completely. Instead he gave us an average character with whom no one can really relate to because the audience is unsure as what or why he is the way he is.
The definite worst part of this film was character development, or lack thereof. HOW TO BE was intended to be one of those quirky, coming of age, independent films but didn’t pull it off because the character was so lame. Arthur is a character that needed an actor who could provide a bit of comic relief without any effort but still be awkward, unfortunately Robert Pattinson is not that actor. It’s not to say that he’s a bad actor, but this was the worst role he could have chosen because it doesn’t suit his natural broody and dramatic talents. Had this film been made with an actor like Jason Schwartzman it would have been more enjoyable because he can play that outcast character that is still likable and relatable.
Overall, I would skip this film and not waste your time. Bob Patty fans may find it enjoyable because he gets so much screen time, but even they will have to admit that this was a fail. Hopefully, Mr. Pattinson’s agent will realize the range of his actor and not set him up for failure like he did in HOW TO BE.