Spoiler-free review of “Stutz,” a mediocre portrayal of human emotion

Spoiler-free review of “Stutz,” a mediocre portrayal of human emotion

Charlie Nguyen, Staff Writer

Jonah Hill is known for his roles in popular comedy movies such as “Superbad,” “Wolf of Wall Street,” “and 21 Jump Street” and made his directorial debut in 2018 with the film “Mid90s.” 

This year, Hill directed his second film, “Stutz” – a piece centered around  Hill’s therapist, Phillip Stutz. The documentary covers the life of Stutz and his methods of coping with loss and depression. 

One of the film’s greatest strengths is that it gives the viewer professional therapeutic insight via a TV screen. The visual representation and drawings of Stutz’s methodology help one comprehend various ways to cope with some of life’s greatest obstacles; one of the most prominent obstacles featured is depression. Although this is not the best documentary I’ve ever seen, I give it credit for broaching such a complex subject in a rather unconventional way. 

Despite its unique style, “Stutz” failed to create an intriguing story throughout its duration. Although most of the film is filled with interesting opinions and commentary on human emotions, some parts are boring with little to no story development. “Stutz” has little variation, as it reveals one emotional skill after another with almost no variation throughout the piece.

The revolutionary nature of ¨Stutz¨ is its most impressive facet. The film is not a blockbuster, action-packed, media-controlled movie but a project filled with passion and creativity. Although the intention was not to make a statement on the tropes of Hollywood films or purposely differentiate itself from more traditional approaches, it still is a film to appreciate for its authenticity and novelty. When watching the film, you can see the passion put into each and every frame. Hill tells a story he truly loves. He consciously chose to direct a movie that he knew wouldn’t perform as well at the box office or spark buzz amongst critics, contrary to many of his acting projects in the past. Unfortunately for Hill, films made with love rather than the prospect of money are not as widely appreciated in today’s monetary-driven climate. Hollywood values big blockbuster franchise movies which are ruining cinema as a whole- we as consumers can change that.

Though “Stutz” could have improved in its plot development, its impact on filmmaking won’t go unnoticed. It is a heartfelt, emotionally-driven narrative about the human mind. When the age of franchise, superhero, and money-hungry movies finally being out-of-style arrives, films like “Stutz” will thrive because of their mission of placing passion and love ahead of money.