MichaelEternity’s review published on Letterboxd:
Romanticization of the shy, lonely mama's boy (Pruitt Taylor Vince) that feels very dated today in 2020. I struggled to find any redeeming quality about this creepy, gross, impolite, unfriendly, voluntarily mute, self-centered, man-child loser in his 30s who leers at the new teenage waitress at the diner his mom owns where he's the cook. Nothing wrong with having a crush on a pretty girl, I know, but the movie refuses to characterize him beyond that - he's withdrawn and has low self-esteem because he's overweight, but shows no interest in or even any capacity to acknowledge anything else in the entire world besides nubile Liv Tyler, and we're supposed to feel sorry for him or experience his plight with sympathetic melancholy, but why should she reciprocate anyway? He can't even put 2 words together.
This is an exacerbating film about unappealing nitwits withering away in boring lives, that I think we're meant to see some fractured beauty in, but the whole time I just wanted to scream at this jerk to get over himself and start making an effort. And while I realize that's the eventual point of this slightly cattywampus coming-of-age indie darling, more effective choices could have been made in its development. "Tenderly quiet, naturalistic, and poetic" is how fans probably regard it; "deceptively vapid, contrived in its bias and insufferable" is my take. I related more to Debbie Harry's supposedly horrible cynic of a waitress. They villainize her in a way that contradicts the warts-and-all empathy this movie claims to be teaching.
Give me "Untamed Heart" instead. Kinda sorta the same movie; more Hollywood-ized and schmaltzy, but gets the same points across with more emotional savvy.