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Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You (2011)

Lucy Liu , Marcia Gay Harden , Roberto Faenza  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Lucy Liu, Marcia Gay Harden, Stephen Lang
  • Directors: Roberto Faenza
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: March 5, 2013
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00AADAE94
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,198 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Precocious yet vulnerable teenager James (extraordinary newcomer Toby Regbo) has a deep appreciation for the world, but no idea how to live in it.  Finding no help from his divorced parents (Marcia Gay Harden and Peter Gallagher), nor his twenty-year-old memoir-writing sister (Deborah Ann Woll), James decides to reject the assumptions that govern the adult world, starting with his potential college career. Grappling with his future, his sexuality, and his screwed up family, James embarks on a search for wisdom through nontraditional means, aided by the eccentricities of his grandmother (Ellen Burstyn), and flings with his therapist (Lucy Liu). Based on the bestselling novel by Peter Cameron, SOMEDAY THIS PAIN WILL BE USEFUL TO YOU is a funny and heartfelt coming of age story about the often strange experiences that help define a life.

Special Features: Music Video, Photo Gallery, Trailer

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Holden Caulfield for the 21st century October 14, 2012
Format:Amazon Instant Video
Peter Cameron's story SOMEDAY THIS PAIN WILL BE USEFUL TO YOU is coming of age tale that is, at turns, funny, sad, tender, and sophisticated. As adapted for the screen by director Roberto Faenza with Cameron and Dahlia Heyman this becomes an experimental film that will delight many and confuse some. The cast is excellent and once the audience moves into the rhythm of the narrated story it is difficult not to re-live youth and pull for the lad whose story this is.

James Sveck (Toby Regbo) is a lonely young teenager who is tortured by his grossly unstable home environment and is fraught with hating people, suicidal thoughts, depression, and the preference for solitude. It is the summer before he goes off to college at Brown University and he is conflicted: his vain lothario father (Peter Gallagher) insists that he go to college, his gallery owner mother (Marcia Gay Harden) has just returned form Las Vegas and her third failed marriage - this time to a compulsive gambler (Stephen Lang); his sister Gillian (Deborah Ann Woll) is writing her memoir and falling for an older married Polish professor; and James is working with his mother's gallery director (Gilbert Owuor), trying to make since of art, people, relationships and the chaos of the world that confuses him - the last thing he wants is to enter the college world. His mother lines him up with a Life Coach (Lucy Liu) and slowly James begins to come to grips with a past bad memory and to learn to accept who he is as someone worth living. James only loving connection to the world is his grandmother (Ellen Burstyn) and from her he learns a lot about the vagaries of life and how to cope.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Someday" Shines in its Subtlety March 6, 2013
"Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You" captures how being an introverted teenager feels TO the teenager. Much of the conflict lies in the internal battle the protagonist has with himself, though the dysfunction in the world around him (i.e. his crazy family) amplifies his feelings of not belonging. The lead, Toby Regbo, displays phenomenal prowess in his portrayal of the confused James, who seems to be drowning in the struggles of being 17.

That being said, one needs to enter the film in an independent / art film frame of mind. Though focusing on a high school protagonist, this isn't "Superbad" or "Mean Girls" where the concrete goals are getting the girl/guy or throwing the best party of their high school lives. "Someday" is more subtle, an emotional look at how one teenager's isolation truly feels like the end of the world to him. And who hasn't felt that at one point?

Plus, an awesome cameo by Parks & Rec's Aubrey Plaza :)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely, thoughtful, engaging film. February 17, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
OK - disclaimer...I'll start off by saying that I'm often drawn to films like this one - I like the sense that a story is intended as a vehicle to explore a particular set of ideas & feelings, and isn't just an end in itself. To be honest, I'm probably more likely to be forgiving of its flaws because I like what the filmmakers are attempting.
This is a coming-of-age story that's aware of the idea that a boy doesn't go from a child to a man in some grand oversimplified moment that so many movies of this ilk resort to using. In reality that process is often a long, awkward and sometimes painful arc that this one thankfully takes the time to view with a thoughtful eye. This film is exploring the latter part of that time in a young man's life where huge choices about one's life are looming, and the writing allows for a fitting amount of complexity and subtlety in the way those experiences are portrayed.
On the downside, the writers draw from some very trite characters to fill many of the roles - the shallow businessman father, the art-dealer mother who is a well-meaning mess, the self-absorbed and emotionally unstable sister, the wise but quirky grandmother, the bright but sensitive and misunderstood male lead...unfortunately none of these is particularly original. The good news is that the script is really only using these characters as a means to look into the underlying themes of self-discovery and the development of an understanding of one's place in the world. The filmmakers delve into these ideas with an honesty and sincerity that really makes these parts of the story very satisfying and enjoyable. The actors for the most part do a nice job of bringing out the emotional elements of their roles in a way that is honest and genuine...nobody is laying it on too thick or trying to scene-steal, and the development of the story is well-paced over the 95 minute run time.
Overall, a good rental - I found it very enjoyable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Stuff Of Grandmas June 10, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video
James, played brilliantly by Toby Regbo is a confused young man looking for answers to his life. He lives in a dysfunctional family, but, then, who doesn't? His mother, payed byMarcia Gay Harden is in her third marriage, she manages an art gallery that doesn't sell much. Dad is Peter Hallagher looking for his youth,,sister is going out with a married, much older professor. The only sensible person in James' life is his grandmother played by Elen Burstyn. She is secure, mature and loves her grandson.

James is working for his mother at the art gallery the summer before entering Brown. He is not certain he wants to go to college, which upsets his family. His parents have enlisted the assistance of a psychotherapist/ career counselor, Lucy Liu, to help James. They run while thy talk and Lucy tells James she thinks he is a smart young man. It is OK to be confused and he will fnd hs way. Grandma, Nanette, tells him the same. James meets her every weekend at her house. James's mom and Nanette have not spoken for awhile. It seems to me that the entire family could use Lucy Liu. James is a likable young man and the actor who plays him is superb, a terrific actor.

'Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You' turns the agonizing life choices of a 17-year-old boy into the stuff of high drama. This is a quiet little film, that turns it's charm on all of us.

Recommended. prisrob 06-10-13
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected
Good actors, but tedious. More suited to those who want a bit of melodrama with their comedy.
Published 7 hours ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Turned out to be a very good film.
I did not know what to expect from this movie. I knew nothing about it going in which is what I like. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Robert
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I loved this film. Parts of it could have used more details, but overall an enjoyable film.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars not for straight
not for straight people. Didn't care for the homosexual situations. The whole theme tuned me off! I am not very tolerant of alternative
Published 3 months ago by James Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Being different & coming of age
In a world driven by superficiality and consumerism gone wild, a deep and insightful person does not always feel connected. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Gary M. Walker
1.0 out of 5 stars It should be illegal to make a film this bad.
Bored cisgendered rich white able-bodied male with great bone-structure learns he's an introvert, throws fit. Read more
Published 3 months ago by N. Siqueiros
4.0 out of 5 stars Good....
It's kind of a weighty and deep-seated film about a young man or boy(?) trying to find his way in life. Not for the carefree and light-hearted.
Published 3 months ago by Lyna
5.0 out of 5 stars WATCH THIS FILM!
Touching story with an excellent cast and a really moving message.

Found this randomly and am so happy I watched it.

Highly recommend this film! Read more
Published 4 months ago by Lizzie G.
4.0 out of 5 stars Quiet film mixes serious themes with deadpan humor
A movie about a young man entering adulthood and confused about life...wait...haven't I seen that in about 100 other movies? Yes, but that doesn't make this one BAD. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Karl E. Weaver
4.0 out of 5 stars On top of just being plain awesome, this book/movie has one of the...
I loved the book and I was excited when they made it into a movie. Like most adaptations, I enjoyed the book more, but the movie version was good. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Manda
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