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"A Long Way Down": Meeting Up at the Suicide Social Club 

Wednesday, Jul 23 2014
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Pascal Chaumeil's A Long Way Down is based on the novel by Nick Hornby, and as is so often the case with character-driven novels, it might have been better served as a miniseries than 96-minute movie. On New Year's Eve in London, four strangers meet by chance on the roof of a building famed for its suicides: disgraced chat show host Martin (Pierce Brosnan), mousy Maureen (Toni Collette), raccoon-eyed party girl Jess (Imogen Poots), and American delivery boy JJ (Aaron Paul). When none of them can find the courage to jump (partially because they don't want to be watched when doing it), they make a pledge not kill themselves for six weeks. They become a part of each other's lives, and a media sensation in the bargain, thanks in no small part to Martin's notoriety as a convicted statutory rapist, and Jess being a prominent politician's daughter. A Long Way Down is divided into chapters focusing on each of the characters as the weeks progress, and while it's occasionally both touching and funny, the picture ultimately feels rushed, never quite giving the individual stories time to breathe. The cast members do well enough with the time they're given, though hopefully Aaron Paul will eventually move beyond this sort of minor variation on his Jesse Pinkman persona.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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