Friday, July 12, 2013

Apartment 4E – Give Me Back My Time!

Runtime: 87 minutes
Release Date: 2012
Rating: NR
Director: Russell Leigh Sharman

Piper is one of the most annoying people in the world. She's a shut in who never leaves her apartment because of a medical condition, and she has no patience for anyone else, which is odd given that no one could possibly spend an extended period of time with her. At some point in the recent past, Piper made a new friend online named Mollie. The two had a close relationship, but things are about to change.

A man knocks on her door, saying his name is John and that he's Mollie's brother. He asks to talk to her, and she lets him in, but she also lets him know that she doesn't trust him. Though he answers some of her questions about Mollie, she can't shake the feeling that there's more than meets the eye with him. The more time they spend together, the more she realizes that she can't trust John and that John might not be who he says he is.

I've talked about contained movies before, and "Apartment 4E" is a great example of what not to do. I hate to give it a bad review because it does have a great story attached to it. The film was actually the result of a Kickstarter campaign that helped fund the film. It still had a low budget though, which led to the entire film taking place inside a single apartment.

When a film can't rely on large sets or expensive backdrops, it needs to focus on character development and great acting. Piper is such an unlikeable character that it was hard to sit through 87 minutes of her. I read a review that talked about how viewers needed to understand that she was bi-polar and suffering a breakdown, but I don't think that's a good excuse.

This is the type of woman who immediately feels suspicious from the moment someone knocks on her door. When he tells her that Mollie sent him, she instantly thinks he's lying. She then spends the rest of the film alternating between wanting to kill him and wanting to kill herself. "Apartment 4E" wasn't what I expected, but I can't imagine sitting down to watch it again now that I know the plot.


  1. What does above comment have to do with movie? Ugh! These ads!

  2. No worries, I deleted it. I hate adding those captach things to my blog because I hate filling them out, but if it keeps up...

  3. I did not like this movie. The reviewers on Netflix that did like it pulled this bull about only smart people will like this movie. One reviewer wrote, “If you have the capability to understand and enjoy clever dialogue and pick up on subtle nuances, then you will probably enjoy this movie. But if you can't keep up, it will probably make your head spin.” I understood everything in the movie and found it predictable. I agree that this could have been and should have been a smart character driven story. The actress is trying her best to be this oddly intelligent woman, and it all just seems so contrived. It's like she asked herself "What would Kerry Washington do if she were a clever shut in that shared an apartment building with the cast of The Big Bang Theory?"

  4. Oh yeah and please give me back my time. The best thing about it all is I found this blog

  5. I watched this flick solely because of Nicole Beharie. The lady can't be too bad of an actress to be on a show called "Sleepy Hollow". I give props to independent films, no matter how good and/or bad the film is received.

  6. I actually loved this film. It watched like a stage play to me, which I suppose makes sense since that's originally what it was. I also think it's the reason it kept my attention - an area where 90% of other films fail (1.5 - 2 hours of undivided attention is basically impossible for me).
    This is very easily one of my favorite performances from Beharie. Here you can appreciate the subtleties of her acting, the tiny nuances that make her performances so powerful. If you want to see Nicole Beharie put in work, you want to see this film.
    It doesn't appeal to everyone, I agree. I also think it's lack of appeal to many has nothing to do with intelligence or your ability to understand it. I hate when critics take that pretentiously condescending road.
    I thought the single-location had more to do with the project & less to do with budget - or lack thereof. Also, Nicole Beharie & Kerry Washington's acting styles and methods couldn't be more different. I've yet to understand that comparison.

  7. In hindsight, it probably wasn't a terrible movie, but it wasn't nearly what I expected. I'm all for movies with a slow burn, but this one just seemed to simmer without every reaching the burn to me.

  8. I enjoyed the film and I liked Beharie's performance.