The Young Unknowns

Released 2008


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Movie Summary

Catherine Jelski
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Charlie just shot his first commercial and is looking forward to a relaxing day with exotic girlfriend Paloma, the kind of girl a young, hip director should have. Charlie's wild best friend, Joe, invites himself over along with companion du jour Cassandra, and the "fun" begins. This day, however, will not go as planned, as each of his friends and his always absentee "voice-on-the-phone" father, play another kind of card, resulting in disaster. Based on Wolfgang Bauer's stage play, "The Young Unknowns" is a harsh look at the L.A. lifestyle of the rich and not-so-famous, embodied by spoiled but self-destructive Charlie (Devon Gummersall from "Roswell," "My So Called Life") intelligent but self-destructive Paloma (Arly Jover from Blade, John Carpenter's Vampires), hedonistic and self-destructive Joe (Eion Bailey from Band of Brothers, ER), and beautiful but self-destructive Cassandra (Leslie Bibb from Iron Man, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Crossing Jordan). First time feature-filmmaker and screenwriter Catherine Jelski's unflinching portrait of emotional abuse is remarkably enthralling, impossible to look away from, one of the new breed of pseudo-cinema"it" films that started with 1997's "In the Company of Men." The film has an exhibitionist quality to it, as if the audience is seeing something it really shouldn't be. With excellent photography and first-rate performances by its cast, "The Young Unknowns" packs a daring punch that should not be missed.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 50

    Los Angeles Times Kevin Thomas

    Jelski is a skilled filmmaker, and her sense of reality is so uncompromising that, even when tempered by a touch of dark humor, her film is a grim, hard-to-take business.

  • 40

    The New York Times Dave Kehr

    Held back throughout by the self-conscious, overly explicit dialogue and the judgmental, moralistic undertone that throbs throughout.

  • 20

    Variety Joe Leydon

    A strident, painfully repetitive and hopelessly stage-bound drama about self-indulgent twentysomethings on the fringes of the L.A. film scene.

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