#MyKindOfBenedy at the end of the alphabet: Cultivating romance in the weeds of GenXYZ irony.

He's forty and can’t figure out how to shave or do laundry, but, given enough time and tutelage, even he can figure out how to be a grown-up man.

He’s forty and can’t figure out how to shave or do laundry, but, given enough time and tutelage, even he can figure out how to be a grown-up man.

Young people are screwed – almost always only in the bad way. They ingest nothing but lies and swear it’s food, insisting that a deer-in-the-headlights ennui is depth, that sneering is an accomplishment, and, worst of all, that sex is love.

That’s sad – but it’s a great basis for Act I of a benedic RomCom.

We watched two GenXYZ romantic comedies on Netflix this weekend, and both were quite fine: Interesting, engaging and genuinely funny. Best of all, both of them rejected the nonsense that infests GenXYZ skulls, landing squarely on the side of the values that make on-going human life possible. In other words, despite the hell they put you through, they both end up as my kind of benedy.

Awful titles in both cases, which will have helped to kill any box-office potential either might have had, but, of course, even when they’re getting the important things right, young people are still screwed.

The first was People, Places, Things, a nice showcase for Jemaine Clement of “Flight of the Conchords” fame. The plot? Newly-ditched father of adorable twins tries to reconcile himself to the emotions he won’t admit he has. Regina Hall kills as the winsomely beautiful love interest who goads Peter Pan into growing up. As a bonus, there are a number of interesting insights into the artistry of graphic novels.

The second was not as clear-cut of a win for me. We learn that love is more than just empty sex and that drugs-are-bad-m’kay, but getting to that heaven is a journey through an ugly hell. The Act II crisis informs us about “classic self-sabotage” which is an entirely-unintended GenXYX “irony,” taking account that the film is self-sabotagingly entitled This Isn’t Funny. Despite all that, it ends right, and the writer/director/star team of Paul Ashton and Katie Page made this charming little indie with $32,000 collected from a Kickstarter campaign.

Both of these films are about real people taking on the real problems of real life, so both are salutary that way. Both illustrate young people finally growing up – much too late in every case, but better late than never. I thought Ashton’s take on the father’s role in an unexpected pregnancy was particularly praise-worthy.

The bottom line? We gave five stars to both, which is a hard get around here. Benedies make people better by showing you people making themselves better. It’s sad that generations X, Y and Z start off so much worse than their parents and grand-parents did, but it’s a great thing to see young film-makers working through all that, despite everything.

PS: Three cheers for Aussies and Kiwis in American cinema. There is no substitute for actors who can actually read English properly, an art much better mastered under the Union Jack.

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