Janet Planet – Nostalgic Drudge

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Janet Planet Review

If you’re looking for a hint of nostalgia and a reminder of your childhood in the early 90s, Janet Planet isn’t where you should look for it. The movie follows Lacy, an 11-year-old in the summer of 1991, and the people her mother introduces to her life over that summer. The description basically says that Lacy starts to see her mother in a different way after that summer, but after watching the three parts of the movie, it’s hard to find anything endearing about Janet at all.

Lacy is a young 11-year-old at best, and while the movie plays that its about her feelings for her mother – those aren’t really brought forward. Instead, the movie really will be more about the feelings the viewers have about Janet. She’s more of an unconventional mother, which isn’t a problem on the surface. Her friends she brings in and out of her home life more of an alternative lifestyle, akin to the 70s or even a more new age movement today. But her choice in men changes constantly and she even dabbles in a relationship with a man she believes is a cult leader. All while Lacy watches and is exposed to all of it.

Is the audience to believe that the relationship between Lacy and Janet is changing after these interactions? Lacy’s character barely flinches at the constant and changing flow of people in their home, so this isn’t a new occurrence.

Instead, what the audience is left with is a slow and long movie that doesn’t seem to have a destination or really any point.

Yes, Janet Planet has moments that may make you think back to your childhood in the early 90s, but that isn’t enough to make the movie good. The story is supposed to be about Lacy and her relationship with her mother, but instead, it’s mostly about how Janet brings questionable people in and out of Lacy’s life over and over in the short course of a summer. The hints of nostalgia won’t save this movie, or really make it worth a recommendation for most viewers.

Janet Planet will be playing at Cinemark Ann Arbor 20 starting on June 28th

Overall Rating

Two Stars Review

About Janet Planet

In rural Western Massachusetts, 11-year-old Lacy spends the summer of 1991 at home, enthralled by her own imagination and the attention of her mother, Janet. As the months pass, three visitors enter their orbit, all captivated by Janet and her spellbinding nature. In her solitary moments, Lacy inhabits an inner world so extraordinarily detailed that it begins to seep into the outside world. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Annie Baker captures a child’s experience of time passing, and the ineffability of a daughter falling out of love with her mother, in this singularly sublime film debut.

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