Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 9, 2016)
Does Anna Kendrick ever sleep? She appears in a whopping six movies that’ll see 2016 release, and one of these comes with Mr. Right.
Martha (Kendrick) dumps her slimy cheating boyfriend and finds herself back on the singles scene. She feels gratified when she meets “Mr. Right”, the charming, glib Francis (Sam Rockwell).
At first, this seems great, but eventually Martha discovers a minor snag: Francis works as a killer for hire. Despite this bombshell, Martha chooses to continue with the relationship and all its craziness.
In a script that doubles down on cuteness, the actors work overtime to sell the material – and they largely fail. Kendrick may be the most adorable actor on the planet, and even as much as she charms me, she gets tiresome here. Right forces her to pursue such a wacky, quirky path that she becomes annoying.
Dear Lord – did I just call Anna Kendrick annoying? That’s a descriptor I never thought I’d type, but it’s true. She remains lovely as ever, but her relentless pursuit of off-kilter nuttiness makes her tough to take.
I also often enjoy Rockwell’s work, though I can’t claim to find him as consistently charming as Kendrick; I have found Rockwell to be grating in the past. Those memories rushed back to me as I watched Right, a film that makes Sam the obnoxious yin to Anna’s yang. He creates a borderline insufferable character.
Admittedly, I shouldn’t blame the actors, as the script sticks them with lousy dialogue and situations. Right feels dated, as it comes across with more of a 1990s post-Pulp Fiction. Back then, everyone wanted to adopt the mix of glib, idiosyncratic dialogue and ironic violence that Tarantino pioneered.
No one did it nearly as well, and the trend seemed to essentially run its course, but no one told the filmmakers behind Right. It batters us relentlessly with its unconventional characters and their kooky conversations. Hey, Francis even tells Martha his hit man status from the start, but she assumes he’s just joking – nutty, right?
Not really. All of this simply seems self-conscious and too clever by half. The lines feel so phony and forced that they annoy much more than they entertain.
The film’s endless, relentless cuteness makes it tough to swallow. Perhaps Mr. Right enjoys the basis of an entertaining film, but this grating clunker isn’t it.