Jason's Review of Breaking News in Yuba County 2021 ★½


Watched Mar 27, 2021

#Breakingnewsinyubacounty It’s easy to see why Tate Taylor (director of the Oscar-winning THE HELP as well as MA, GET ON UP, and AVA) was able to assemble such a good cast for this movie. It’s also easy to see why it was quietly released a few months ago with zero fanfare despite said great cast and high-profile director, and that’s because it’s pretty bad.

I kinda had to watch this, because I lived in Yuba City through junior high and high school and my parents still live there. (Disclaimer: Yuba City is actually not in Yuba County, but rather across the river in neighboring Sutter County, but close enough). It is definitely not shot in Yuba County, but still. Too bad that the first and probably last movie to be set in that neck of the woods turned out to be such an annoying sub-sub-sub Coen brothers wannabe. BREAKING NEWS IN YUBA COUNTY wants desperately to be a great dark comedy like TO DIE FOR or NURSE BETTY, but it doesn’t have the sharpness of the former, nor the heart of the latter (which is surely the sweetest movie ever in which a character is scalped). The actors are all fine, but the story is a mess riddled with too many illogical contrivances and jarring tonal shifts, and nearly all of the characters are unlikeable and (more importantly) uninteresting. I sort of enjoyed the Jimmi Simpson/Wanda Sykes/Samira Wiley storyline and Awkwafina made me chuckle a couple of times, but it’s not nearly enough to make suffering through the rest worthwhile.

Lastly...Allison Janney and Mila Kunis...as sisters?

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