One of the films featured iin last year's edition of the Singapore International Film Festival, How To Be still managed to find itself a theatrical release in Singapore despite its indie leanings, and it's not rocket science to deduce that it's perhaps the presence of teenage heartthrob Robert Twilight Pattinson's being one of the chief reasons. Cashing in on his popularity and the huge fanbase already set up, I still don't think that the Twilighters (do we call them that?) will turn up in droves for this.
Unless they're into watching Pattinson give one of his award winning performances (yes, I kid you not) at being all whiny and moping about how life is unfair. This angsty teenager role is soon going to have him pigeon-holed into a stereotype if he continues to play such characters. His character Art is so much of a whiner that you'll soon find yourself wanting to give him a wake up call. A wannabe musician who gets no love nor attention from his parents and having his girlfriend dump him, he decides that all he needs is for the self-help guru Dr Ellington (Powell James) whose book he is reading, to turn up at his doorstep to provide that one on one consultation, for a fee of course.
Most of the best scenes here involve Dr Ellington spewing his words of wisdom with great aplomb and conviction, and has some of the best, hilarious lines in the film to keep it afloat. But it takes a while for Powell James to appear on screen, during which you'll have to tolerate the very quirky characters that pepper the narrative, especially friends of Art who are aspiring to be a great rock band together with him as the frontman.
Robert Pattinson, sorry Twilight fans, just cannot act to save his life here, and coupled with a storyline that tried too hard to engage, everything about the film seemed more like a turn off with its contrived scenes, that it's just plain painful to sit through this. It's indie, it's low-key, and Pattinson is seriously in need of a good character role soon enough before he gets pigeonholed and typecast.