Yesterday afternoon I hate-watched Zach Braff and Florence Pugh‘s A Good Person (MGM, 3.24). It’s basically a Lifetime movie about (a) slow grief recovery, (b) Oxycontin addiction and (c) the patient counsel of Morgan Freeman.

After 15 or 20 minutes I wanted to pop an Oxy myself, and maybe another half for good measure.

It’s arduous to sit through — instructive, over-acted, schmaltzy, precious, on the nose, emotionally insistent, socially curious and fortified with phony writing.

I hate addiction, AA and grief-recovery movies, and I really hated the acting in this film in particular. Bored shitless, I mean.

Pugh will always be a grounded, real-deal actress, but the screenplay’s flat treatment of Oxy addiction is “okay, okay, I’ve had enough, what else can you show me?” Freeman has always been excellent in whatever role, but you can tell he’s struggling or, you know, doing the best he can under duress. His vibe feels saggy, weary. Plus Freeman is around 85 now and seems too old to be the dad of Chinaza Uchi, who plays Pugh’s 30ish ex-fiance. He’s more like a grandfather type.

The only reason A Good Person managed a 55% Rotten Tomatoes and a 50% Metacitic grade is because a good portion of the ensemble cast is Black. If the cast had been all-Anglo, it would have fared much worse.

There’s a scene in which Freeman, the father of Pugh’s ex-fiance, shows Pugh an elaborate train set within a model of a miniature town in his basement, and I was saying to myself “this is half-working, this scene…they’ve finally found a groove.” And then Pugh’s character starts singing “Last Train to Clarksville” and Freeman joins in…the fucking Monkees!

I’m sorry but I have to say this: What extended family or close-knit social circle (i.e., people who routinely get together for holidays and birthdays) is composed of 55% POCs and 45% Anglos? Or vice versa? Even in super-artsy or super-wealthy X-factor circles, this kind of social bonding is…well, I’m not aware that it’s common. A Good Person is set in northern New Jersey near West Orange (i.e., Jett and Cait’s neighborhood) and I know how things look and feel in that neck of the woods. Good people and middle-class vibes, but not as woke as Braff and Pugh (who co-produced and collaborated on the script) are imagining.

I hated Mauro Fiore‘s muted, blue-ish cinematography.