Geek Lab Review - Los Angeles Film Festival
Two College Students Struggle with the Prospects of Parenthood in ‘The Young Kieslowski’
“The Young Kieslowski” is the story of two virgin college students, who instantly fall in love and after one night faced with the life-changing event of parenthood. The movie features two strong lead performances from Ryan Malgarini (How to Eat Fried Worms) and Haley Lu Richardson (Awkward, Ravenswood) and a funny and heartwarming script from writer/director Kerem Sanga.
In the wrong hands, “The Young Kieslowski” could have been a bad after-school special about teenage pregnancy. Instead, the movie is a smartly written story about our inner turmoil when taking the fast track to parenthood.
The story follows two Cal Tech students, Brian Kieslowski (Ryan Malgarini) and Leslie Mallard (Haley Lu Richardson), who happen to be virgins—one by choice and the other by circumstance. They meet at a party and instantly attracted to each other. This encounter leads to a night of passion and an unexpected pregnancy with twins.
“The Young Kieslowski” is inspired by writer/director Kerem Sanga’s parents, who had twins in college. Although, this is not a story of his parents, “The Young Kieslowski” is Sanga’s answer if faced with the same situation as his parents.
The two leads, Ryan Malgarini and Haley Lu Richardson, are the highlight of the movie. The movie opens with Ryan portraying the typical nerd with a horrible, horrible hairstyle. He could have played a typical over-the-top nerd character, but instead, Malgarini brings likable depth to his character that has you rooting for him to make the right choice throughout the movie.
Haley Lu Richardson performance as a girl, cynical with life but changed with the prospect of parenthood, is nothing but stellar. Her presence on screen has you instantly falling for this sometimes abrasive/cynical character.
Another smart move writer/director Kerem Sanga made was to surround you relative unknown leads with its quality supporting talent. Joshua Malina and Melora Walters plays Robert and Barbara Kieslowski. Barabara struggles with stage 4 cancer. James Le Gros plays Leslie’s father, Walter. He is a writer of historical novels. Le Gros is perfect as the reclusive writer, who is haunted by watching the mistake he made as a youth replayed in his daughter.
It hard to bring heart to a comedy, but writer/director Kerem Sanga pulls it off perfectly. Sanga manages to answer on-screen all the issues, young couples face when surprised with unplanned parenthood. He also sprinkles the film with truly laugh-out-loud moments.
“The Young Kieslowski” is both a funny and heartwarming tale of young love and is currently on the film festival circuit at the Los Angeles Film Festival. “The Young Kieslowski” had its world premiere last night and will screen again this Tuesday, June 17 at 6:30 PM.