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Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You 2012

NR CC
3.7 out of 5 stars (45) IMDb 5.8/10

A vulnerable teenager with a deep perception of the world and no idea how to live in it.

Starring:
Toby Regbo, Marcia Gay Harden
Runtime:
1 hour, 39 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Roberto Faenza
Starring Toby Regbo, Marcia Gay Harden
Supporting actors Peter Gallagher, Lucy Liu, Stephen Lang, Deborah Ann Woll, Ellen Burstyn, Aubrey Plaza, Gilbert Owuor, Dree Hemingway, Olek Krupa, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Brooke Schlosser, Kyle Coffman, Jonny Weston, Kate Kiley, Christopher Mann, Rekha Luther, Greg McFadden, Dieter Riesle
Studio FilmBuff
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 14, 2012
Format: Amazon 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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Format: DVD
"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 :)
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Amazon 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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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. Plus it has a pretty great cast.

James is soon to be college bound and seemingly going through what most of us went through that final summer before we went off to start our lives after high school. If captures the uncertainty of one's future and various feelings that come along with major life changes. James tends to me more introverted, and his mother does send him to a life coach to help him, but he is surrounded by such dysfunction from most of the people in his life, mother and father included, that he still struggles to find his own way.

I do feel that the movie did a great job of capturing the emotions of the characters, and helping the audience feel those same emotions. If you can, read the book and give the movie a shot. They are both very enjoyable.
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