Writer/director Morosini plays himself in the situation, as a young man named Franklin who just got out of rehab after living through a suicide attempt. He is awkward and a bit antisocial, and has grown estranged from his father Chuck after years of serious disappointments. Not long after Franklin gets home, he receives a friend request from a woman named Becca who lives in Maine; he accepts the request with some hesitation, as she has no other online friends. But Becca seems real enough in the way she talks, and the attention and care she gives Franklin is flattering and comforting. He quickly develops an online crush; he wants to travel from Massachusetts to Maine and meet her. But on the other side of the screen, Becca is actually Chuck, and the photos of “Becca” have been stolen from a friendly waiter named Becca (Claudia Sulewski) who once told a tearful Chuck that “talking to people It’s a good start”. ”
Patton Oswalt plays the version of Morosini’s father with a big heart, as he has with other tricky loners (“Young Adult,” “Big Fan”), and it’s one of the comedian’s best performances on film. While the film never excuses Chuck’s horrible sense of limits, or being a bad father for so long, Oswalt’s performance tells us that maybe this is the time Chuck is ready to be a more present father. which makes cheating on your child all the time. more tragic. Without playing with harshness or darkness too obviously, Oswalt shows the desperation within Chuck to be back in his son’s life; he’s also able to (mostly) sell the film’s digs at Chuck’s bumbling understanding of modern technology and chat lingo. With Oswalt’s sensitivity as an actor, a character who proves to be a liar, evasive, invasive and highly manipulative still becomes watchable. Maybe he’s even endearing.
There’s a sneaky intelligence in this story that wants to see how far this scenario can go, and it’s about acting out the conversations. The film visualizes the intimacy of a texting session as if they were dates that happen in person, like dreams that come true during a long-distance relationship. Morosini’s cold state instantly warms as “Becca” (her projection of her of her) huddles close to her, speaking Chuck’s awkward, sometimes sincere words behind his laptop and phone. With key cuts that play like punchlines, without becoming redundant, we are reminded of the truth behind these moments of comforting fantasy for both son and father. This approach makes his awkward comedy even more visceral, like when Franklin wants to text “Becca” a kiss; We see Chuck wince as his son Franklin appears in the room, eyes dazed and ready to lock lips.