Kroll and Pappas go down slippery slopes in this affectionate comedy.
I attended a special screening of “Olympic Dreams,” and met the collaborators of it: director Jeremy Teicher, and writers/stars Nick Kroll and Alexi Pappas. I asked them about whether the characters were on the spectrum, being that I’m an autistic film critic, and Pappas explained about about how she knew someone who saw the film and moved him in that notion. And she explains how her character isn’t autistic, but emotional, of course.
I asked that, because their characters Ezra (Kroll) and Penelope (Pappas) introduce themselves in a straightforward manner, and are socially awkward. And whether or not it was expressing the disability, their characters really touched me.
“Olympic Dreams” is a funny, sweet, and unusual Indie comedy that introduces us to different characters in familiar territories. They collaborators have actually filmed this at the Pyeong Chang 2018 Winter Olympics, and their interactions with people is barely acted, but feels realistic. Because it was in a sort-of way.
Ezra is a volunteer dentist, and Penelope is an Olympian, both of whom meet in the cafeteria, and after a few meetings, they begin to spend time with one another.
Yes, it’s a short movie (running about 80 minutes or more), but they express themselves with ease and patience, as Ezra feels he’s in an awkward situation, while Penelope wants him to get his mind straight on what he wants.
Kroll is known for comedic roles in such films as “Get Him to the Greek,” “Uncle Drew,” and “Sausage Party,” and he also created and voiced in the hit Netflix show “Big Mouth.” I complimented him on that show, because of how it’s hilarious, fearless, and respectful towards men and women, and he was very nice about it. And he has taken more serious roles like in “Loving” and “Operation Finale,” and now with “Olympic Dreams,” it’s refreshing to see him take on these kind of films.
He also has a steady connection with Pappas, who I’ve never heard of before, but I believe she will have a future in the movie business. She’s vibrant, lovable, and open-minded. Matter of fact, both their characters are.
It gets a little complicated during the middle of their chemistry (after all, that’s how most relationships get), but once you see how they handle things on a low-key manner, you’re able to acknowledge their choices, their friendship, their personalities, and their futures.
And they also use the actual Winter Olympics very wisely. With Teicher’s guidance and assistance, it looks beautiful-the South Korea locations, the landscapes, and their values-and it doesn’t glamorize them. We’re able to see them have fun outside the events, and deal with their drama within the events. It’s artistic in this way.
The movie has its heart and comedy in the right place, and that’s why I promised Kroll, Pappas, and Teicher I would spread the word of it.