Comedian and actor Nick Kroll’s latest film falls into the rare category of being more interesting to read about than actually watch.
Filmed during the Winter Olympics in South Korea, Olympic Dreams follows a volunteer dentist (Nick Kroll) who befriends a cross country skier (Alexi Pappas) after her competition. The movie is the first ever to be shot in an Olympic village and features a wealth of competing Olympians as extras and in cameo roles.
The movie, however, does not feature much else.
Olympic Dreams exclusive access became its own undoing.
The film’s agreement and grant to film in the Olympic village limited their onsite footprint to a skeleton crew: Kroll, Pappas, and shooter/director Jeremy Teicher. That’s it.
A three man band bringing a movie to market is an achievement in and of itself. But the result is a rudderless movie set against the visually stunning backdrop of the Olympic Village.
While Nick Kroll’s nuanced performance shows a new side to the comedy star, there isn’t enough on the script or the screen for Kroll to really work with. Opposite Kroll, Papas delivers a one note performance throughout that quickly grows stale.
The majority of the film features a wide shot of two characters talking with each other due to the limitations of the film’s resources. After eighty five minutes of similar rudimentary staging interspersed with Instagram worthy b-roll, you realized you just watched an amateur film with Nick Kroll shot at the Olympics.
The theme of Olympic Dreams centers on adults at a crossroad and the burden of expectations. These ideas are interesting when looked at through the prism of the Olympic Games. Is it worth it to spend another four years of my life to compete in another Olympics? I’m one of the greatest athletes in the world, why do I not feel like a winner?
Unfortunately Olympic Dreams lacked the depth to tackle some of the more interesting bait they put out on the line.