After the success of Arrested Development and Superbad, Michael Cera promptly, predictably found himself plugged into a roster of other Hollywood studio comedies with varying levels of successfully integrated quirkiness, while also exhibiting a keen sense of taste relating to indie films (e.g., Juno, Youth in Revolt). This summer, after having already played a coked-up version of himself in the “Apatow All-Stars” project This Is the End, Cera again dives headlong into Indieville with what might very well be his most daring, off-the-beaten-path professional choice yet.
Drected by Sebastián Silva — from a story loosely based on an autobiographical experience, and shot in a period of several weeks while he and Cera were waiting to film Magic Magic — the highly improvised, Chilean-set travelogue Crystal Fairy unfolds in long, shaggy, straggling stretches seemingly meant to mimic and induce the frazzled vexation of its protagonist, as he copes with the flighty title character he’s unwittingly invited into the lives of he and his friends. Think an ambling The Sitter by way of Gus Van Sant’s Gerry, stripped free of any of the former’s lunacy and replaced instead with passive-aggressive back-biting and obsession over a hallucinogenic cactus. That’s Crystal Fairy, a meandering movie that doesn’t do a lot to reward one’s time but still gives one something to think about once they’ve escaped its clutches. For the full, original review, from ShockYa, click here. (IFC Films, R, 100 minutes)