Ric’s Netflix Picks: “How to Be a Man”

howtobeaman

What is the most important thing a father can teach his son?

How to be a man.

Mark McCarthy (Gavin McInnes), a former comedian, has just discovered that he is dying. Not wanting to leave his unborn son without life lessons, he recruits a young filmmaker, Bryan (Liam Aiken), to document his remaining days. Keeping Margo (Megan Neuringer), his pregnant wife, out of the loop on his medical condition and the nature of the documentary, Mark takes Bryan on a strange journey of knowledge and self-discovery. From women and drugs to bullies and fistfights, Mark frames every encounter with the ever present question: “how to be a man?”

Drawn in by the title alone, How to Be a Man really surprised me. The Netflix blurb made it seem like it was a documentary, but it’s actually a comedic fictional narrative. It’s like a series of interconnected stand-up styled rants about manhood that play out in-between the budding friendship of Mark and Bryan.

McGinnes drives the film with his intense, off-the-wall antics. Aiken’s character is the one unknowingly on the path to enlightenment, and he carries this transformation well. Neuringer, the most prominent female presence in the film, compliments McGinnes’ character very well. Fans of Royal Pains will recognize Paulo Costanzo, who plays a small yet important role as his character as the catalyst of the film’s climax. Lastly, Nicole Balsam stood out as bright and charming, despite seeing mere minutes of screen time.

How to Be a Man is one of those indie films that surpasses expectations. It’s certainly a Netflix gem that many people will add to their queue and then never watch. That would be a mistake.

Rating:

4.1 out of 5.0

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