How to Be screening in Boston

On Thursday I attended the Boston screening of How to Be.  I know this is a little late but things have been busy and I wanted time to process the movie.  First off I brought my non-Twilight friend with me who was slightly surprised when we arrived 30 minutes before the movie started to find a line that wrapped around a block and a half from the movie theater.  The sign at the front of the line said “How to Be Line starts here (yeah with that guy from that other movie).  The Coolidge Corner employees clearly have a sense of humor and they managed to get over 300 people seated in an orderly fashion with in 15 minutes. Seriously, that is a feat in and of it self.  Now on to the part you all really want to hear about: The Movie.  Here is your “possible spoilers ahead” disclaimer. Don’t say you weren’t warned!

The film was introduced by writer/director Oliver Irving.  He was accompanied by Composer Joe Hastings, Mike Pearce who plays Nikki, and Johnny White who plays Ronny.  They returned at the end of the film for a question and answer session with the group.

But first let’s talk about the actual film.  I really enjoyed it.  It is an unusual coming of age story.  The main character Art is going through an early 20’s crisis which is facilitated by his girlfriend dumping him and his family being very cold.  His friends Ronny and Nikki are both kind of going through a crisis in their own way but not nearly as bad as Art’s.  Art decides he needs help and hires a self help author to come live with him and “make him more normal.”

Ronny and Nikki are interesting characters played fantastically by Johnny White and Mike Pearce.  They bring a comedic value to an otherwise sad situation.  The interactions between them an Art are funny, endearing and sometimes antagonistic.  Both actors did a great job at bringing the character’s subtle quirkiness to life to compliment the constant quirkiness of Art. I don’t know if the movie would be nearly as good if they weren’t in it.

Then there was Art played by that guy in that movie, sorry couldn’t help myself, played by Rob Pattinson.  Art is such an awkward, lost guy you can’t help but feel for him. The awkwardness that Rob brings to the character is palpable, sitting in the theater there are times I felt embarrassed for him and that isn’t always an easy thing to relate to an audience.  This character is the complete opposite from Edward and he plays it incredible well and believably.

The movie was enjoyable from start to finish but I did have 2 favorite scenes, actually thinking about it I have more than two but I will list only two, so as not to give too much away.  First, Art volunteers at a community center/home for people with special needs.  There is a scene where he is playing basketball with them and it is funny and heartbreaking at the same time.  It kind of asks the question, what are you willing to do to make yourself feel better?  Art is trying to help others but at the same time trying to build his own confidence and self esteem.  The second scene is the pub scene.  It feels authentic in so many ways. It is a typical friends hanging out, telling stories and joking around scene but it doesn’t feel forced and for good reason, they weren’t drinking apple juice in their pint glasses while filming.  It is a very relatable scene and of course Art has one of his most embarrassing moments with the ex.

You can see trailers for the film HERE. It will be available on IFC Direct starting April 29th.   As for the Q&A that was after the film it was really hard to hear but you can get answers to most of what was asked on the How to Be website and in an interview done with Oliver Irving and Joe Hastings. Some final things to note: How to be was shot in 5 weeks, Oliver Irving raised money for the film by riding the train and looking for investors primarily from banks, and the music was created for the film before the scenes were shot so that Oliver and the actors kind of had a feel for what the mood should while filming. Some facts that I could actually hear being talked about.


  1. I really upset because the movie won’t play in my town at all. ( I called the theater) I’ll just have to wait till it’s on DVD

  2. Thank you for this review. It was just enough to set the saliva flowing without spoiling it for us. My husband watches IFC more than any other channel, and some of the films really bring on the eye-rolling.

    I see it say IFC Direct/On Demand. I hope the extra wording doesn’t mean it won’t be availabe for normal viewing.

    I can’t wait to see Rob in something different.

  3. guys you can rent how to be and little ashes from netflix….Im still trying to to find out how to get the haunted airman….

    • laura: I checked on the BBC website concerning The Haunted Airman, and it doesn’t seem to be available yet for purchase, of course I could have missed something. I wrote the BBC asking about it. If I hear from them I will post it here.

      I have Little Ashes and How to Be on my list at Netflix, but they are still in the ‘Save” section. It shows release unknown.

  4. Some cable companies are premiering it on the 29th via Festival Direct. I’m catching that way. Go to: How to Be the Movie .com and see if your cable co. has it.

  5. I saw How To Be when it was screened at the Minneapolis Film Festival last week and I loved it as well! It is everything you would expect from an indi film and more! However, the best part of the evening was when Oliver, Joe, Mike, Johnny and Lecinda, the worlds best tour manager/publicists? stopped by an after party at a great little pub in the films honor and mingled with all the guests for hours. Truly some of the nicest, most-down-to-earth-people in the world and so much fun to casually hang out with them and discuss the movie’s success and the fun adventures of the screening tour. If you have a chance to see it…jump on it…immediately!

  6. Ok, so the community scene was on of my favorites too.

    HOWEVER…I did LOVE the scene where he crawls into his parent’s bed and they get all mad. But what was funny was the doc flipping on the light and telling him he didn’t mean literally get into bed with his parents.


    I loved the movie. I can’t wait to see it again!

  7. I really want to see How To Be. they aren’t playing it in theaters in my town!!!! I can’t wait until it comes out on dvd in the U.S.


  1. […] the original post on Twilight Lexicon Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and […]

Leave a Comment


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.