May 30th, 2017



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Release Year: 2016

Rating: 6.0/10 ( voted)

Critic's Score: /100

Director: Demetri Martin

Stars: Demetri Martin, Kevin Kline, Gillian Jacobs

A comedy about loss, grief and the redemptive power of love, Dean is an NY illustrator who falls hard for an LA woman while trying to prevent his father from selling the family home in the wake of his mother's death.

Asif Ali - Noah
Jesaiah Baer - Partygoer
Kathrine Barnes - Bookstore Employee
Kate Berlant - Naomi
Edward G. Betlow - Father of the Bride (as Edward Betlow)
Steven Bono Jr. - Groomsman
Leanne Cabrera - Server
Taulant Cara - All American boy
Camille Chen -
Lila Claghorn - Selfie Girl
Carol Commissiong - Diva
Christian Dautresme - Peeing Man with Dog
Nicholas Delany - Logan
David Donah - Airport Passenger
Ryan Estevez - Upscale Restaurant Patron

Taglines: A Comedy About Tragedy

Country: USA

Language: English

Release Date: 3 Jan 2016

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Briga Heelan and Gillian Jacobs also star together in the Netflix series LOVE. See more »

User Review


Rating: 5/10

Demetri Martin has been my favorite comedian for many years, therefore when I heard that he had written, directed and starred in a film I grabbed tickets immediately. Having no trailer to go off of, my mind went wild thinking how the insanely creative Demetri Martin's comedy would translate into a film. Sadly, a lot was lost in that translation.

The best part of Dean is its usage of Martin's trademark doodles, which accompany the film's scenes in split screens. They feel fresh and were the saving grace when the film started out with a clichéd father and son by a grave that made me worried. The biggest letdown is the film's continual return to cliché, especially in the final act which plays out as a heavy-handed drama with little comedy.

The best thing about Demetri Martin's comedy is that his jokes are presented, the audience gets them, then he moves onto the next joke. In this film there is a lot of unnecessary lingering done. The morals are beaten into our heads in four concluding scenes of nothing but expositional dialogue. Even when the dialogue is more in line with his comedic styling he allows characters too much time to react to the jokes, therefore explaining them. If Demetri Martin tackled each scene as he did his jokes, it could've been a wholly unique film, but his insistence to make a straightforward narrative greatly hurts the film.

One scene really perfectly exemplifies where the film succeeds and fails. It's a party scene and Dean doesn't know anyone there. He spots a pretty girl across the room, cue slow motion and music. This instantly got me groaning. Then he takes it further, Dean leans onto a counter in the slow motion and knocks a bunch of clutter everywhere. I groan a little more having seen this joke even taken here before. But then something brilliant happens. He continues the slow motion for just too long. He picks up the clutter, not even looking at the girl anymore, all in slow motion, then he leaves the room. I laugh out loud. It's a perfectly executed defiance of expectations. But then he ruins it, falling back into cliché. I was really hoping in his embarrassment Dean would never talk to this girl, but instantly in the next scene she approaches him and a love story begins. From cliché, to defying clichés, but ultimately settling back into cliché. You can almost feel Demetri's reluctance to take risks and that's a damn shame because if he did it could've been this generation's Annie Hall.

However, Demetri has stated that he has more conceptual ideas for future films and Dean was picked up by CBS, so here's to his next project taking more risks and blowing everyone away!


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