‘Cat Person’ Review – Sundance 2023

Cat Person: Directed by Susanna Fogel

SYNOPSIS: College student Margot meets 33-year-old Robert at the movie theater where she works. After a casual flirtation at the concession stand, they carry on conversations through texts. As their perceptions of each other collide, events spiral out of control.

A lot of buzz going into Sundance was around this film with the cast, the concept and the viral short story it was adapting. We all know the name of Emilia Jones now from the Best Picture win of CODA and because of that, I was really looking forward to this one. I was also really intrigued to see how the film would tackle the world of modern dating. Dating in our age is a cesspool and the way this project handles it is important. The synopsis alone had me hooked, therefore this one topped my Sundance watchlist for the year.

First things first. The cast in this is so damn good. Every piece of the puzzle fits together perfectly, but it’s the chemistry of our main duo that is the most important. Emilia Jones is the standout giving both a relatable and haunting performance. We are seeing this film playout directly from her point of view and in her head, she needed to deliver for it to be effective and she absolutely did. Nicholas Braun is really solid as well and Geraldine Viswanathan plays the perfect side-kick to our main character. 

I don’t have prior knowledge of the short story, but reading the synopsis had me really intrigued. Modern dating borders on impossible and this film lays that out so perfectly. Susanna Fogel chooses to put you directly in Margot’s head and her phone to watch these conversations play out. You see this relationship unfold in such a genuine and stressful way. That is the biggest word to describe this film: STRESSFUL. It’s a film that looks at the stresses that women go through everyday. The film loses some believability in the 3rd act that definitely took me out of the film, but I think the first two acts are incredibly solid. You can tell this was from the writer Booksmart because it hits the marks that make it relatable to this generation. 

FINAL: Cat Person has its issues, especially in the third act, but there is a lot more good to take away from this film than the bad. The performances are absolutely dynamite, with really solid chemistry from Jones and Braun. A stressful look at modern dating and what women have to go through in this brutal cesspool of a world. This is a film that a lot of people will love and one that should be on your radar very soon.  

Point Breakdown:

15 for Writing: 12

15 for Performances: 13

10 for Entertainment: 8

10 for Direction: 8

10 for Emotions: 9

5 for Cinematography: 3

5 for Score: 3

5 for Pacing: 4

15 for Technical: 11

5 for Rewatchability: 4

5 for Automatic: 5

Cat Person: 80/100

Jack Lautaret is a Banana Meter approved film critic, Host of the Jack Lautaret YouTube Channel and writer for Music City Drive-In. He is a member of the Online Film and Television Association. Twitter: @JackLautaret


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