The Only Living Boy in New York (2017) Review

Keeva Stratton

Film Expert

This quaint film beautifully unravels the dynamic, complex and interwoven relationships that make life interesting.

the-only-boy-in-new-yorkimage via youtube

Thomas (Callum Turner) has been chasing his friend Mimi (Kiersey Clemons), ever since they shared a special—if not drunken—evening together. While Mimi values his friendship, it’s pretty clear she wants him to stay in the friend zone.

Unsure how to win her affections, he confides in a new neighbour (Jeff Bridges), who seems keen to counsel him in the ways of becoming more desirable. His neighbour is a curious character, who seems rarely sober yet oddly profound. This lush sage suggests Thomas needs to simply live life, and by doing so, he will naturally become more interesting.

So Thomas does, but it doesn’t exactly go to plan.

While out attempting to be more interesting, he chances upon his father, who is with a woman that’s not his mother. Wanting to learn more about the woman who his father is having an affair with, he begins to stalk her. The relationship takes an even more complicated turn when he finds himself attracted to her, too.

There’s much more to unravel before this film finds its conclusion, but to divulge would be to ruin some of the more wonderful reveals it offers—and there are several.

The Only Living Boy in New York is a quaint tale that delicately explores the intricacies of human relationships. While the central character seems determined to resist the rising banality in New York city, he must instead face his own.

Only when willing to embrace his own role in how boring or interesting his life may be, does he realise how to live. His relationships with those around him—including his depressive mother, his philandering father and the strange mentor he’s found in his shaggy neighbour—shift in a wonderful new direction, and he gains a sense of self.

If you enjoy films that are more an observation on life, you’ll love this one. It’s simple and warm, and just a very pleasant way to spend a few hours experiencing life and the world through another’s eyes.


Director: Marc Webb

Stars: Callum Turner, Kate Beckinsale, Pierce Brosnan, Jeff Bridges

Runtime: 1 hour 29 mins

Release Date: October 12

Rating: M

Reviewer Rating: 3.5/5


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