Starring: Michael Cera, Gaby Hoffman, Juan Andres Silva, Jose Miguel Silva, Agustin Silva
Directed by: Sebastian Silva
Run Time: 98 mins
Opens July 26th
By Lisa Minzey of The Reel Critic.com
Hey Phoenix Film Fans! Opening this week as a Harkins Shea 14 exclusive is the adventure comedy “Crystal Fairy” starring Michael Cera, Gaby Hoffman and Juan Andres Silva. This film was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize and won the Directing Award for World Cinema at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. This film is artsier than the average Michael Cera film, but is he a strong enough draw to bring people to the theater?
When Americans travel abroad, the stereotypical belief is that we are all obnoxious, loud and rude. Such traveler, Jaime (Michael Cera), drives that stereotype home while traveling throughout Chile. Jaime has been staying with Champa (Juan Andres Silva), having drunken adventures at parties, doing drugs and living it up. The two young men have plans to travel to find a type of cactus, the San Pedro, whose hallucinogenic properties are legendary. Jaime is the type of partier that while intoxicated, will be everyone’s best friend. When he meets an unusual girl at a party the night before his planned cactus trip, he has no memory of inviting Crystal Fairy (Gaby Hoffman) to meet up with he and his friends.
Now sober, hungover and exhausted, Jamie is back to his normal self of an insensitive, self-centered jerk, who drives the group a little nutty on their quest ti find the perfect San Pedro cactus specimen. Will they be able to find it or will their entire trip be a bust? Can the guys tolerate Crystal Fairy's insane behavior or will they ditch her the first moment possible?
Watching a film centering around a hallucinogenic agent found in a cactus, you expect certain things. The story is uneven and disjointed, it will get really strange and new-agey, and that there's bound to be nudity along the way. “Crystal Fairy” has all the aforementioned elements, but billed as an adventure/ comedy, this film was severely lacking on the comedy. The last 15- 20 minutes of the film take a dive off into the deep end of Debbie- downer drama, killing any sort of comedy buzz it had going. It seemed to me that the only reason Michael Cera took this role was that it was a great excuse to go down to Chile, party on the beach and do drugs for a few weeks. Now Gaby Hoffman does a fantastic job as the free spirit Crystal Fairy, but a little overexposed in my opinion. She took the hippie chick and had no inhibitions in showcasing every bit of her self in several scenes, which one or two scenes max, would have driven home the same essence that the manifold of nude scenes tried to accomplish. Director Sebastian Silva did a great job bringing this film and characters to life, but the storytelling style became redundant and confusing. If you’re a fan of world cinema or strange drug-tripping films, check out “Crystal Fairy” when it opens Friday July 26, 2013.