Ultimately, we don’t go to romantic comedies for the conflict, we go for the resolution—we want to get to the part where they kiss and make up. Don Jon doesn’t seem to be interested in propagating this desire, but rather in exposing it.
While the interviews structure American Promise, home videos personalize it, allowing access to even the most intimate of moments. Furthermore, the directors never water down scenes in which they, as parents, seem controlling, overly demanding, or, at times, downright mean, adding further authenticity to their narrative.
The sad truth is that it is unlikely that anyone would participate in, let alone finance, a first time director’s take on these characters if the film’s subject wasn’t a luridly exceptional incident. An exploration of the work of the New Vision Kill Your Darlings is not, but how could it be?
Quincy DeYoung recommends Lena Dunham's feature Tiny Furniture, now streaming on Netflix.