Newly Single follows Astor William Stevenson (played by director, Adam Christian Clark) during a crossroads in his life. His latest movie is weeks away from shooting, his girlfriend just left him and he’s entered the L.A. dating scene – all of which is turning him into a wrecking ball, demolishing his life bit by bit.
All the greatest character studies in film have a lot in common. There’s a terrific actor in front of the camera as well as a brilliant director behind it, along with a fascinating story for the script to follow. These four elements brought together are just some of what creates a great character study. Sadly, this movie has none of these. Adam Christian Clark is far from talentless, just not quite on the level that’s required to make this particular story work.
Clark’s directing is by far his strongest skill when compared to his writing or acting. Being able to make a feature is massively impressive, but to have the film look and sound as good as it does shows that Clark knows what he wants and how to get it. He also clearly knows how to work with actors, always managing to capture the right beats at the right time while getting great performances from those involved.
As for Clark’s writing, this is what lets the film down. The story is immediately, nothing special. And for those of us that don’t live in LA, it’s not as exciting for us as Clark may have wanted.
It could be made more intriguing, but Clark’s writing abilities simply aren’t up to scratch. The character he’s created is terrible and possibly one of the worst ever portrayed on screen. Astor is extremely arrogant, rude, obsessed with sex, creepy and immoral.
Besides the obvious problem of an unlikeable, awful protagonist, the story really doesn’t lead to anything. It’s very repetitive until the end. Nothing changes, there’s no build and Clark’s one-note performance doesn’t help at all. His character is the exact same at the end of the film as he was at the beginning.
Clark managed to create a second feature which is impressive, but due to the multiple sex scenes and pretentious lead, it seems like Clark only made this second feature in order to stroke his own ego.
Overall, Newly Single is a pretty dull affair. Clark’s over ambition, terribly one-dimensional performance and clear self-indulgence creates a film experience more hollow than the character it follows.
Rating = 2/5 flicks