Rebecca’s boyfriend, reviewed | Dublin Applicant
After Cameron (Cameron Macauley) cheats on his girlfriend, he begins to reflect on his life, his relationship, and whether or not he’s the nice guy he always thought he was. Craig Austin Reynolds’ comedy Rebecca’s Boyfriend follows a shaken Cameron as he returns from London to Dublin and searches for his true nature.
Rebecca’s Boyfriend feels especially in tune with current trends of the kind of self-soothing self-analysis that can be found all over the internet in vlogs, Medium articles and Twitter feeds. Cameron talks to his mom, friends, step-brother and their dad like he’s dictating a message for Am I the Asshole? subreddit. He belittles himself to a point, “sorry not sorry” for stepping on Rebecca.
Even as Cameron ponders, narrates, and examines himself to breaking point, he continues to engage in the same motherfucking behavior. Cameron drinks enough to blame his actions on the drink, but not enough to make him completely unaware of those actions.
He sets up a street fight for a minor provocation, and later at his mate’s house, Cameron uses an innocent board game to try to initiate an uninvited threesome, and when that fails, a foursome, with his friends. These actions could be part of a shame spiral — that is, if Cameron’s shame felt genuine. As his colleague says at the beginning of the film: “You know exactly what you are doing.
Cameron’s behavior is clownish. He is a man who, in his quest for absolution full of self-pity and self-centeredness, is full of half-hearted posturing and atonement. He’s the urban dictionary definition of a “fuckboy.”
The answer to his question is simple: he’s an asshole. But, for someone like Cameron, there must be something beyond that. Is it nature or education? His dad Lorcan (Mark Doherty) might have the answer Cameron is looking for. And so, somewhere along the way, Cameron’s quest for self-discovery and understanding turns into a search for a scapegoat. It may be his only hope of retaining his former good-guy identity.
For Cameron, being seen as a nice guy was important, and just as important was being nice to Rebecca. Cameron and his close friends seem to be defined by their relationship statuses. Longtime friends Alan (Eoghan Quinn) and Jill (Breffni Holahan) recently got together. Meanwhile, Leslie (Maeve O’Mahony) is no longer with her boyfriend Larry. “Leslie and Larry, it could never work.”
As the group talks about the ups and downs of life and love with Cameron, they keep coming back to Rebecca, how great she is, how great she and Cameron are together, how much she misses her. everyone, etc. Cameron is at his best, his most famous as Rebecca’s boyfriend.
Irish cinema has not taken much interest in mumblecore style films of the new millennium. Rebecca’s Boyfriend decided mumblecore “energy”. The staging and camerawork aren’t flashy, relying on minimal setups and blocking. Generally, we watch long, uninterrupted conversations between friends and family members.
Craig Austin Reynolds’ script isn’t full of jokes but the vibe of Rebecca’s Boyfriend is ambiently fun. Not until deadpan, sleepier observational comedy: gritty, witty, but rarely mind-blowing. The no-frills approach Reynolds took wouldn’t seem out of place in those skyscrapers and townhouses of those New York “mumblecore” films.
A large number of Rebecca’s BoyfriendThe interiors of would also fit into these films as stand-ins for cramped and expensive condos. We watch through the passenger side window as Cameron is driven from the airport to his home. A running comment from her mother highlights every new hotel that comes up in town. Later, Cameron and his friends sit in a small green space flanked by the glass facades of office buildings.
In some ways in the film, Cameron and Leslie visit Cameron’s brother, Rory (Jack Gleeson), at his Airbnb. As they walk down the lobby to the elevator, Leslie comments that it’s “so weird to actually be inside one of these buildings.” The interior is upscale but uninspiring. Rory is a big New York banker, always wearing a tie and generally talking to people. Gleeson plays the coked shark in a goldfish tank.
In these rented apartments, first at Rory’s and then at Lorcan’s, we witness some of the most embarrassing conversations imaginable. The comedy comes and goes. There’s a moment in the later scene where Rory and Cameron confront their father about his past infidelities where Rory lets out this kind of stifled laughter. I felt the same confusion watching these extremely uncomfortable scenes unfold.
Cameron’s fate is his, his attempts to explain his own actions to other people are futile. Macauley primarily plays the character as restless, someone who has lost a version of himself that may never have existed in the first place.
His friends appease him but for Cameron the question remains the same. He can’t seem to get out of his own way, and because of that, he’s the opposite of who he wants to be. The most complex joke in which Reynolds writes Rebecca’s Boyfriend is Cameron – asshole and Rebecca’s boyfriend.