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  • Writer's pictureJamie

Your Monster - Review

Updated: 4 days ago

I’m still quite new to the film festival scene, seeing people go to the likes of Cannes and seeing over 60 films is still mind blowing to me, but one thing I have learned to do already is check out what you want to see, book it and then pick one or two smaller ones that you know nothing at all about. Your Monster was this for me, a choice after a choice. I knew only the title and the accompanying picture included when I booked it. Your Monster is a fantastical romcom, with horror elements based on a time in the director, Caroline Lindy’s life. The film starts off with “this is a true story” leaving room for “ish” to fade in just after true, setting the tone for the rest of the runtime. 



It's a film that doesn’t take itself too seriously, even if the topics and story at the core are pretty intense. Lindy knows what she’s doing in this feature length adaptation of her short of the same name. I think this film translates perfectly to feature length, giving you more time with the relationships and story overall, letting you sink into the world created. 

We meet Laura Franco (Melissa Barrera) as she is coming out of the hospital, having gone through a cancer treatment for the last few months. She is escorted home by her friend, Mazie (Kayla Foster), who perfectly introduces us to the tone of the film as it means to go on. We also get a montage of the last few months that has some heavy relationship struggles between Laura and Jacob (Edmund Donovan). He is a playwright and director who promises her the part in his new show. They struggle to stay together during Laura’s intensive stay at the hospital, reaching a breaking point. Laura’s new single life at home is different when she meets a Monster (Tommy Dewey) who is living in her home. With a poor start to their relationship, they then spend some time together, growing closer and understanding each other more, leading to Laura finding some of her self love again, amidst drama of Jacob’s play making its start on Broadway. 


The story itself feels very YA romance novel, or well written fan fiction, however there is so much charm in this film that it's impossible for me not to be in love with it. It blends genres of comedy, drama, musical and horror like they’re always meant to be paired. Barrera is beyond likeable in this film, having such natural chemistry with Monster and breezing through the complicated feelings that Laura is having. She is dealing with a new life, post illness and navigating a changed world with Broadway and dynamics with those around her that are not familiar. 

I think the most impressive part of this film is how little time it takes for you to be fully immersed in the world it presents. I was all in, from frame one to the very end. 


There are also a lot of funny jokes in this film, they pretty much all landed for me, and the delivery from everyone is naturalistic in a way that doesn’t make it seem like they are really trying to sell a joke. 

I think the most wacky element (other than the monster) is the play itself, where Lindy very theatrically satirises the realities of working with creatives that have growing egos. Jacob is written and played so perfectly by Edmund, giving you the “douche” persona that makes you recoil in cringe at almost every line.


The look of the film is very strong too, with a soft approach to the world, muted colours and warm lights. This is especially present in Laura’s house, where she is around Monster. The environments breed the emotions we feel while watching perfectly. This also blends well with the lovely score and soundtrack of the film, blending older music with original songs in the musical that Jacob is writing. There is a particular song at the end of the film that packs in so much emotion and catharsis that it gave me goosebumps. 



I do think the keyword to this film is catharsis. Lindy took a life experience and adapted it into a film I think so many people (including myself) will go back to. She has been able to transform a horrible period in her life into a really enjoyable and effecting film. 

There are monologues and sections of the film that I could feel Caroline’s real emotions come out. These monologues feel like things she wished she could have said at the time, understanding and embracing her anger toward her situation. She also gives herself some grace in moments which I think are the most emotionally resonant parts of the film, particularly in one conversation with Monster, outside of a party. I felt all of that. I’m happy this film exists, and it gives me so much hope and pride for the younger generation of filmmakers coming up today, being able to articulate their feelings into ways that not only express that emotion, but translate it into a comedy that widespread people can just enjoy for what it is.



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