'Ordinary World': Film Review

The Green Day frontman shows another side of himself with his appealing performance.
10/14/2016

Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong plays a former punk rocker turned suburban dad in Lee Kirk's comedy/drama.

Here's a quick way to make yourself feel old: Watch Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong in his new film in which he plays a former punk rocker turned suburban dad who works in a hardware store and has issues with his father-in-law. Playing like the pilot of a sitcom that could easily star the likes of Matthew Perry, Ordinary World becomes raggedly enjoyable thanks to the unexpected charms of its leading man.

After a prologue establishing the central character as a once cool, young rock musician, the story jumps 20 years ahead, with Perry (Armstrong) living a contented family wife with his lawyer wife Karen (Selma Blair), preteen daughter Salome (Madisyn Shipman), and adorable infant son. He works in a hardware store co-owned with his younger but more mature brother Jake (Chris Messina), who's desperate to buy him out. And he's bummed about nobody remembering his 40th birthday.

An unexpected windfall prompts Perry to impulsively rent the presidential suite at an upscale hotel and throw a party for himself and his friends, including a former bandmate (Fred Armisen) who's still angry that their band's "temporary hiatus" has lasted well over a decade. Perry also runs into an old girlfriend (Judy Greer), now Joan Jett's manager (the legendary rocker makes a cameo appearance), who tries to rekindle their romance.

Its plot hinging on such elements as the party getting slightly too raucous and whether Perry has lost the guitar he's bought for his daughter's upcoming recital, Ordinary World certainly lives up to its title (it also happens to be the name of a song from Green Day's new album, which Armstrong performs acoustically in the film). Its chief amusements stem from watching its notoriously excess-loving star portraying a midlife crisis-suffering dad who says things like "I need a nap" and insists that his friends use coasters.

The rest of the cast — including such estimable actors as Kevin Corrigan, Dallas Roberts, and Brian Baumgartner — provide solid support. But it's Armstrong's engaging turn that makes Ordinary World (formerly titled Geezer) an enjoyable if slight diversion. It certainly signals that the rock star, who presumably doesn't want to die before he gets old, could easily segue into an acting career.

Production: Let It Play, Process Media
Distributor: UPHE Content Group
Cast: Billie Joe Armstrong, Judy Greer, Selma Blair, Dallas Roberts, Chris Messina, Fred Armisen, Brian Baumgartner, Kevin Corrigan
Director/screenwriter: Lee Kirk
Producers: Adam Bonner, Alex A. Ginzburg, Becky Glupczynski, Tony Lee, Tim Perrell
Director of photography: Scott Miller
Production designer: Elizabeth J. Jones
Editor: Stephen Haren
Costume designer: Meghan Kasperlik
Composer: Dickon Hinchliffe
Casting: Dougas Aible, Stephanie Holbrook

Not rated, 86 minutes

comments powered by Disqus