Palmer, Justin Timberlake's film on Apple TV+, is an uninspired narrative on masculinity
Justin Timberlake's prosaic masculine melodrama, Palmer, fails to evoke any sensitivity
Like a bad egg set to boil, a rugged ex-convict softens and then cracks in the pallid drama Palmer. The film, streaming on Apple TV+, opens with its stoic protagonist returning home to rural Louisiana after serving a 12-year prison sentence. Palmer (Justin Timberlake) hits the bar and carouses with buddies, but his townie itinerary changes when he finds himself saddled with caring for Sam (Ryder Allen), the cherubic child of a neglectful neighbour.
Sam enjoys playing with femininity; he tries on lipstick, adores dolls and, on Halloween, asks to dress up as a fairy princess. Though he’s bullied at school, Sam is an assured, easygoing kid. But to Palmer, a former high school quarterback, Sam “ain’t like other boys” and will have a hard go at life unless he learns to abide by the macho agenda.
If Palmer had emerged as Sam’s story, this formulaic film might have found its footing following a mould-breaking character down familiar country roads. Instead, director Fisher Stevens hews closely to Palmer, a tough guy with a sensitive side who punches people when he feels feelings. The women pose more tiresome clichés; they are either churchgoing or, in the case of the story’s love interest (Alisha Wainwright), an empathic vessel for Palmer’s pent-up emotion.
But the movie’s most frustrating revelation comes near the end, when it has the gall to correlate Sam’s nonconformity with Palmer’s outsider status. “I’m different, that’s for sure,” Palmer replies, when Sam asks if Palmer is queer — a word he learned from his mom’s brutal boyfriend. That Palmer eventually embraces Sam as an ally in misfitdom is inevitable. So is the annoyance inspired by this prosaic masculine melodrama.
Palmer streams on Apple TV+.
Natalia Winkelman c.2021 The New York Times Company
Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro at ₹499 for the first year. Use code PRO499. Limited period offer. *T&C apply
Man arrested in hit-and-run death of Nicki Minaj’s father, faces charges of leaving scene, tampering with evidence
The 70-year-old man arrested on Wednesday in the hit-and-run death of Nicki Minaj’s father Robert Maraj stopped briefly to ask the injured man if he was okay but didn’t call for help, police said.
Mandy Moore, who's named her newborn son August Harrison Goldsmith, revealed he was born 'right on his due date.'
Springsteen was arrested 14 November in a part of the Gateway National Recreation Area on the New Jersey coast, a spokesperson for the National Park Service confirmed Wednesday.