Review Roundup: IF THERE IS I HAVEN'T FOUND IT YET, Starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Annie Funke - All the Reviews!
Roundabout Theatre Company's If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet featuring Annie Funke (Anna), Michelle Gomez (Fiona), Jake Gyllenhaal (Terry), and Brían F. O'Byrne (George), and directed by Michael Longhurst opened last night.
If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet at the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre (111 West 46th Street) is a strictly limited engagement through November 25th, 2012.
Find out what the critics thought below!
Ben Brantley, The New York Times: Amiable, scruffy, erratic, well-intentioned, full of promise and self-sabotaging - such is the nature of Terry, the stoner character with which the movie star Jake Gyllenhaal has chosen to make his very creditable New York stage debut. Such is also the nature, for better or worse, of the play in which he appears…the script, which isn't all that subtle to begin with, isn't allowed to do its own talking, and we aren't allowed to infer parallels by ourselves. It becomes a serious challenge for the members of the ensemble to create any sense of organic character development.
Elisabeth Vincentelli, The New York Post: Nick Payne's family drama has garnered a lot of attention because it marks Jake Gyllenhaal's New York theater debut. Spoiler alert: He and his English accent are perfectly fine…but the actors can't conceal the fact that they're playing clichés thrown into overly familiar situations. You can over-direct this Family Dysfunction 101 class all you want, but it just looks like someone wearing clothes three sizes too big.
Marilyn Stasio, Variety: The raw pain of a teenage girl is not an easy thing to witness, and scribe Nick Payne makes no attempt to sugarcoat the anguish in his blistering domestic drama, "If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet." But a compassionate production from ardent director Michael Longhurst -- one with committed perfs from selfless thesps Jake Gyllenhaal, Brian F. O'Byrne, and Michelle Gomez and a brave turn from young Annie Funke -- can provide the dubious comfort of a bloodletting.
Linda Winer, Newsday: This is a message with a play tacked on. The message -- that we are obliviously up to our doomed ankles in our carbon footprints -- is made powerfully apparent. It's the people we don't always believe. This is especially true of George (O'Byrne) and Fiona (Michelle Gomez), the loving but incredibly obtuse (and skinny) parents of tortured Anna -- played with gutsy, layered subtlety by Annie Funke. As staged by Michael Longhurst, George is far too befuddled by the emotional world to be trusted to save the physical world. And Fiona, supposedly a caring teacher, never seems really to notice her daughter's anguish.
In contrast, Gyllenhaal's socially inappropriate Terry shows both a serious lack of impulse control and deep empathy.
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter: More than thematic fatigue, however, the trouble with Michael Longhurst's production for Roundabout Theatre Company is that it's been directed to death…Funke's emotional nakedness and Gyllenhaal's warmth and immediacy make their scenes together the production's best. But none of the four actors onstage is consistently able to mine the wry humor beneath the domestic discomfort.
Matt Windman, amNY: This strange family drama lacks a cohesive plot and lingers on endlessly for about 90 minutes. Its unusual crew of characters includes an academic (Brian F. O'Byrne), a tough teacher (Michelle Gomez), an overweight bullied teen (Annie Funke) and her heartfelt but idiotic uncle (Gyllenhaal)…Gyllenhaal easily blends into his heartbroken, thick-accented character, while Funke presents an often harrowing portrait of a lonely and emotionally abused girl. But if there was a point to "If There Is ...," I haven't found it yet.
Jennifer Farrar, Associated Press: The despair of being bullied is one theme of Nick Payne's clever, edgy domestic drama, "If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet," about a British family that knows it's falling apart but can't seem to take action to stop it. Kudos to Beowulf Boritt for set design, and to the whole production crew for creating major watery magic. Whether this family can pull themselves out of their troubled waters is another matter, but they're worth rooting for in this complex, compelling drama.