APRIL 13, 2018 -- This is a case when three talents who I thoroughly enjoy - Rosario Dawson, William H. Macy and Kate Bates - come together in a so-called dramedy that Macy directs - and get clobbered by a lame story.


The lead is Nick Robinson ("Kings of Summer", "Jurassic World") who plays Taylor, a southern 18-year old who has a heart affliction called PAT (Paroxysmal atrial tachycardia) which causes his heart to race at extrordinary and lethal rates. So he spends most of his time trying to stay calm and unexcited.


But one faithful day he sees the beautiful Krystal (Rosario) on the beach and goes into hart racing mode, which freaks her out. She gets him to the hospital in time, but by then he has a huge crush on her.

Not knowing anything about her, he finds out that she goes to AA meeting near the art store where he works, so he drops everything and stops in to give a listen. What he hears is that she is an alcoholic, former stripper, former hooker, former dope fiend... in other words the perfect girl to run as far away from as possible. Instead, he fakes that he is an alcoholic so t hat he can join the group and stalk her. This is with the blessing of his alcoholic boss Vera (Bates) who is also at the meetings.


What he finds out later about Krystal is that she has a disabled son Bobby (Jacob Latimore) who has a bad attitude and only two years younger than Taylor> But he's not put off that an 18-year old is trying to nailk his mom, nor that fact that he might succeed. No he's more pissed that his father took off and left him a cripple. He also sees Taylor as a better alternative than her mother's ex, Willie (T.I.) who is lurking around trying to get back with her.


Back at Taylor's house, his father (Macy) is a religious type who wrote a best selling book that preaches something about Satan. He is married to Poppy (Felicity Huffman) who thinks it's cute her son has a new girlfriend despite her previous reputation. His brother Campbell (Grant Gustin) is a pot smoking something who thinks Taylor is way over his head trying to get close to Krystal. Yes this has the makings of a good Wes Anderson film, but instead it is a poorly concieved, hardly funny collection of actors reading their lines.


And none reads his limited lines more pathetically than former LA Laker star Rick Fox who plays Bo, a reformed motorcycle riding, cool-as-hell alcoholic whom Taylor decides to mimic in every way.


What's missing is anything inspirational from Bates. It's missing Macy's legendary victim personae. And as beautiful and sexy as Dawson is, it is not enough to overcome the many flaws of the film. T.I. comes off terribly as the thuggish beau, this is a role which someone like Terrance Howard would have easily made more villainous. William Fichtner plays a stupid drugged out doctor that is totally unfunny. In fact, with the exception of Latimore's evil cripple guy role, the entire cast misses the mark. Robinson's fake Southern drawl is absurd!


Macy gathered up a couple of his friends from "Shameless" (Fox, Jenna Johnson, T.I.) and gave the rest a quick paycheck to try to bolster a truly week coming-of-age near drama.


"Krystal" is a film that gives fans of Rosario Dawson a chance to see how lovely she is, even in a bad film. It isn't serious enough to be dramatic and not funny enough to be a comedy. In fact it misses the funny bone entirely.   -- GRADE C-  --   GEOFF BURTON