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Release Date: 2023 
[Sundance Film Festival '22]
Genre: Comedy/Drama

Studio: A24

"Evelyn and her oblivious son Ziggy seek out replacements for each other as Evelyn desperately tries to parent an unassuming teenager at her shelter, while Ziggy fumbles through his pursuit of a brilliant young woman at school."


Jesse Eisenberg’s directorial and screenwriting debut is an unfortunate misfire. Telling the partial story of Evelyn (Julianne Moore), a mother who seems entirely disassociated with the people and things happening around her; that is beyond herself. She is suddenly thrown for a loop when a mother and son relocate into the crisis center she operates and becomes overly obsessed with providing this 17 year old stranger the life that she so wished her own son would have taken. 


That's where the second piece of plot comes into frame. Ziggy (Finn Wolfhard), a live-streamer with 20,000 followers, wants nothing more than to change the world with his music and win the heart of a politically charged girl he goes to school with. As a kid that shares almost none of the same values as Lila (Alisha Boe) it becomes painfully clear where the story is headed. 


When You Finish Saving the World has a lot of build up with little resolve. There’s a lot of fascinating ideas Eisenberg tries to scale but ultimately fails. Even guided by wonderful performances by Julianne Moore and Finn Wolfhard, the unbelievably dislikable characters we have to suffer alongside the entire runtime makes for a rough narrative to sit through. Especially when it decides to constantly take the path with no outlet.

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