John Hollar (John Krasinski) is a graphic novelist living in New York who’s in a creative dry spell. He’s forced to move back home, though, when his mother (Margo Martindale) is diagnosed with a brain tumor. His return home brings back a slew of complicated issues that he left behind years ago, and they’re further complicated by the pregnant girlfriend (Anna Kendrick) he’s left back home in New York.
The basic structure of this film will feel familiar to anyone who’s watched movies beyond the blockbuster genre. At this point, it’s hard to reinvent the “prodigal son returns home” narrative. What makes The Hollars stand out are 1) its cast and 2) some smart creative twists. Krasinski as a director has assembled a great ensemble, with Martindale and Kendrick getting some particularly solid material. And while the basic structure is pretty familiar, I was impressed by the way the film handled the relationship between Krasinski and Kendrick. The Hollars is an amiable film that will most likely be a draw for fans of its creative talent, and it’s worth watching.