The city will make you or it will break you. But, perhaps that’s just a myth. How do we survive the rat race that is New York City? The great divide between those living paycheck to paycheck and those who own their own apartment is pretty wide. Do we, as New Yorkers, put that pressure on ourselves, or is it the city that places those life expectations on us? In Growing Up & Other Lies, four friends commemorate and commiserate their friendship by deciding to send off one of their crew with a walk along the entire length of the island of Manhattan. It’s the true to life story of Rocks, Gunderson, Billy and Jake. Friends who took their own paths after college. Although they all still reside in the city, like so many of us in our 30’s, life gets in the way and connections become fewer and further between. Jake make a go at living as an artist and now, on the heels of a breakup and a sick father, is a good time to exit the city gracefully. The guys plan to walk the length of the island in one day. Along the way, stopping at points that have meaning or that, maybe, they’ve never stopped to observe before. (Also a common occurrence for natives. You’ll never actually see a New Yorker at The Empire State Building. Ever.) Complications get in the way as they try to ease Jake into making his final decision.
Written and directed skillfully by Darren Grodsky and Danny Jacobs, who have been a creative team in the past with the film Humboldt County, Growing Up & Other Lies speaks to anyone who has felt like they aren’t where they planned to be. Life throws you curve balls. Whether you choose to bat is up to you. This is a truly solid ensemble cast. Josh Lawson, Adam Brody, and Wyatt Cenac play Jake, Rocks, and Gunderson, respectively. Danny Jacobs play Billy. Each of these characters is someone you already know. Jake is kind of a self esteem starved mess, Rocks seems like he’s got it together but it’s too good to be true, Wyatt is the smart ass we all need and Danny, well, Danny is the over excited one of the group that sort of makes it easy to pick on.
The editing of the film in itself is a beautiful love song to New York. As they travel from one neighborhood to the next, there is a gorgeous “hand drawn” graphic that guide you. The music changes, the view changes, and the guys change. As cliche as it sounds, the film really drives home that life is what you make it. I got the opportunity to talk with Danny and Darren on the phone about the film. (Bare with the Google Voice recording… I heart you so hard Google) Take a listen to our chat below:
Darren Grodsky and Danny Jacobs talk GROWING UP & OTHER LIES
Growing Up & Other Lies is a quintessentially New York film. It’s an homage to the generation surviving between X and Y. Touching and laugh out loud funny, it’s a true testament to the times in our lives we either live to regret or live for.
Synopsis | After struggling for years as an artist in New York City, Jake is calling it quits and returning home to Ohio. On his last day in the city, he persuades his three oldest friends to help him retrace their greatest adventure together: a walk down the entire length of Manhattan. But their attempt to reclaim the glory of their early 20s doesn’t go quite as planned.
Over the course of the day, buried conflicts emerge as Jake becomes embroiled with his ex-girlfriend and his friends dip into their own crises of manhood. GROWING UP AND OTHER LIES is an anti-coming-of-age comedy.
Written & Directed by | Darren Grodsky and Danny Jacobs (Humboldt County)
Starring | Adam Brody, Wyatt Cenac, Danny Jacobs, Josh Lawson, Amber Tamblyn and Lauren Miller
Run Time | 90 Minutes
Release Date | In theaters and On Demand March 20th