I Used to Go Here stars Gillian Jacobs as Kate Conklin, a woman who has just published a book that no one seems to want to read. While her debut novel is a flop, her old professor has asked to her to do a reading at her college Illinois University. After suffering professional and personal setbacks, returning to a familiar setting offers more comfort than she bargained for. Kris Rey’s I Used to Go Here is a funny in depth look at how someone learns to deal with life’s setbacks and disappointments.
Gillian Jacobs gives a wonderful performance as Kate, an honest but insecure person who finds herself in many awkward situations. From being the only non pregnant girl at a party to bearing witness while a couple gropes each other in front of her, Kate is constantly someplace she would rather not be. Adult life is proving to be difficult so when Professor Kirkpatrick (Jemaine Clement) invites her back to her alma mater, she happily accepts. However, she soon finds that she is not interested in the new professional opportunities this might visit might present. She finds herself backpedaling into college life. She attends parties, ditches meetings, and even finds herself breaking curfews.
The film is filled with great performances. Kate befriends Animal, Hugo, and Tall Brandon, the current residents of her new home. The innocence and complexity of college life is brilliantly illustrated and shows how hazardous nostalgia can be. Tall Brandon, played by Brandon Daley is particularly entertaining as the guy who hangs around in his bath towel and gets along with mothers. Josh Wiggins gives a standout performance as Hugo, a serious student who relates to Kate. The film explores into his life a bit and sets up a story with his mother, but that is not really developed. However, it does allow Tall Brandon some interesting moments in the film. Jorma Taccone and Kate Micucci make cameo appearances where their characters’ strangeness adds to the weirdness of life after college.
Rey’s story is solid and there is excellent character development as Kate’s character takes a break from life and gains perspective. I Used to Go Here posits that sometimes a person needs to relive their past to find their footing in the present.
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