“Not only did I find that it romanticized the idea of reclusive behaviour and depressive tendencies, but it was also just really fucking boring.”
As I’ve said countless times before movies are about escaping; but sometimes the place you escape to isn’t one that you are completely unfamiliar with. This was what I thought Ben’s at Home would be like for me. Ben’s at Home is an indie film about Ben, a 30-year-old who was recently dumped by his girlfriend who decides that he no longer wants to leave his house. I could go into more detail, but really that’s all there is to this movie.
So let’s pull back the curtain a little bit: I’ve done the whole ‘never leave the house’ thing. It was probably the darkest part of my life so far, and when I heard of this movie I was curious to see how this subject was tackled. Things started to get even weirder when Ben, our main character, was introduced as a film critic. I don’t know if criticism stems from depression or what, but the similarities between Ben and myself were striking. But unfortunately that’s where they stop. I don’t get ‘offended’ by much, but Ben’s at Home got close. When I said that never leaving my house was a very dark part of my life, that wasn’t a joke. And to see a film tackle a similar subject in such a happy-go-lucky way made me feel ill. There was a real opportunity to pull back the curtain on depression and show people what it can really be like when it starts to impact your everyday life, but that opportunity was squandered. Ben decides to stay at home not because of depression or any other such feelings, but because he is a man child throwing a fit. He saw his ex-girlfriend at a bar, and now he is mad. And what makes things even more confusing is that everyone in the movie cares so much about Ben’s decision. Not only does Ben take every opportunity he can to tell his friends that he’s not leaving his house, but they get really mad at him for it. This was something that seemed really contrived and thrown in only because of the film’s lack of plot. And speaking of the lack of plot, Ben’s at Home was about nothing at all. Ben decides to stay at home and instead of seeing the grips of depression pull him further and further into this pit of despair while he is surrounded by what once was his home and is now his own personal prison, things go alright for him. Ben gets a job doing voiceover work; Ben goes on online dates, Ben gets all of his food delivered; and Ben then meets a cute delivery girl. This film essentially romanticizes the idea that many people today (myself included) struggle with, and it kind of disgusts me.
And this lack of conflict permeates throughout the film to create a thoroughly dull affair. Apart from all of Ben’s friends overreacting to Ben deciding to stay at home, there is absolutely no conflict in this film. And because there is no conflict, there are no resolutions to the conflicts. This means that Ben’s at Home is a boring mess. Want to know how the movie ends? Ben leaves his house. That’s it. Despite larger problems being hinted (note: hinted) at, the actual “resolution” is that Ben leaves his house. This movie is a fucking joke. And even when I disregard how shit this movie was from a story perspective, the rest of it is hard to love as well. First of all the abundance of shitty indie music made me want to fucking slit my wrists. I’m not attacking any one genre of music, but it’s okay to have some songs that don’t sound like you picked them off of the ‘trending’ page on SoundCloud. And what the fuck was with the “David Attenborough” documentaries throughout the movie? That was a pretty huge plot point (all things considered) and you couldn’t even get the rights to use a David Attenborough documentary? You’re shitty impression wouldn’t fool Helen Keller, so what was the point? Do you know what should have happened when you realized you couldn’t legally use a David Attenborough documentary? You should have NOT FUCKING SAID THAT IT WAS A DAVID FUCKING ATTENBOROUGH DOCUMENTARY! It would have been that easy. I would have gotten the “joke”, and we could have moved on. But instead you tried to pass off the work of your 3-year-old niece as a Van Gogh, and that’s just shameful.
Overall Ben’s at Home is a movie that I fucking hated. Not only did I find that it romanticized the idea of reclusive behaviour and depressive tendencies, but it was also just really fucking boring.
I give Ben’s at Home an F