A less talented cast might have shattered ‘Krystal’

Nick Robinson and Rosario Dawson in ‘Krystal’

It would be easy to dismiss Krystal, from writer Will Aldis and director William H. Macy; as what was described as “…the wrong execution of the right idea” in a film from the early 1980s.  The premise is intriguing, but there are pieces of the plot that seem shoehorned into places where they just don’t fit.  But the efforts of a stellar cast bring this rom-com up more than a bit from the depths it could have descended to.

“Taylor” (Nick Robinson – Jurassic World) is an 18 year old who leads a life as devoid of stress as possible because he has a rare heart condition.  PAT can cause one’s heart to beat at a much faster rate than normal and to prevent the episodes, Taylor is living a life that goes beyond sheltered.  Until he encounters the title character (Rosario Dawson – 10 Years) at the beach.  For the first time in his life, Taylor is willing to take the risks that riding the rollercoaster of love require.

So he trails her to a nondescript building.  Going inside, he finds himself at a meeting of Alcoholic Anonymous.  “Vera” (Kathy Bates – The Boss) who owns the local gallery where Taylor’s brother’s art is sold; is at the meeting.  At her urging, Taylor raises his hand and announces that he is at his first meeting because he is an alcoholic.  A very interesting claim, since he has never experienced a single drink of alcoholic nature in his life.

Krystal’s life is complicated by the presence of a son who is paralyzed and in a wheelchair, and an ex who is mercurial and violent.  Like his mother’s new paramour, “Bobby” (Jacob Latimore – Detroit) is an old soul in a young, damaged body.  They manage to bond in a way not often seen when the child of an older woman is very near in age to her suitor.  But the budding romance is rendered problematic by the return of “Willie” (T. I. – Entourage), Krystal’s former lover.

Rosario Dawson in ‘Krystal’

It is easy to like the premise of a romance that involves someone claiming to be an alcoholic when they’ve never had a drink.  Alcoholism has been a constant theme in movies for decades.  It is easy to like the idea of a movie where the cast includes Rosario Dawson, Felicity Huffman, William Fichtner, William H. Macy and Kathy Bates.  But in the end, what could have been an intriguing execution of this interesting premise runs in two many different directions all at once.  There are some strong moments present here.  Rick Fox (Meet the Browns) is fun in his brief but eventful time as a speaker at one of the AA meetings.  Nick Robinson’s narration is effective as is the dialogue used in those sequences.  However, in the end, Krystal is a bit disjointed.

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