Demi Moore and Alec Baldwin last starred together twenty years ago. When they were bankable movie stars, both actors added subversive elements to their conventional roles, Moore revealing the steel spine of underestimated women, Baldwin injecting hissing menace into stalwart men.
The defanged film adaptation of Stephen Karam’s 2007 play Speech & Debate takes a Breakfast Club approach to high school characters, defining each by a single trait. There’s journalism nerd Solomon (Liam James), theater geek Diwata (Sarah Steele), and openly gay Howie (Austin P. McKenzie).
While this unpleasant thriller isn’t about our annus horribilis, director Richard Bates Jr. captures two familiar states: the feeling of being trapped in a cycle of misery, and the growing dread that something worse is just around the corner.