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The Vicious Kind starring Adam Scott: Humanly Amoral, Emotional and Funny

The Vicious Kind movie poster

The Vicious Kind movie poster via


Oh, how Adam Scott (High Crimes, Leap Year , A.C.O.D, Friends with Kids, The Overnight) has grown on me. I’ve never not liked the guy, but this was definitely one of the more challenging roles he has taken on.

On the surface, the premise of the movie might sound like a typical romantic comedy. However, it’s not very typical, and it’s NOT a romantic comedy.

Caleb (Adam Scott) is a lonely construction worker who is not dealing well with his break-up at all. He can’t sleep, he has sex with hookers and then sends pictures of the act to his ex, and he is not taken the news of his younger brother Luke’s romance well. He believes, and openly states, that all women are whores, and this new girl, Emma (Britanny Snow), is no different. The fact that she was seeing another guy when she met Luke only confirms Caleb’s thoughts.

Luke introduces them as they pick up Emma, and drive her and Luke to their father’s house – a father called Donald (played by J.K. Simmons) Caleb isn’t on speaking terms with.

The problem is Emma kind of looks like Caleb’s ex. She is also sexy, nice and friendly, making Caleb assault her and want her all at once. Oh, yes, Caleb isn’t very a stable or healthy individual. However, he is a fascinating character to watch.

One minute he’s frightening the hell out of her, and one minute he’s crying and apologizing. One minute he’s trying to prove she’s out to break Luke’s heart and telling her not to, and one minute he’s being all intense and attracting her.

Of course, Emma is only less of a mess compared to Caleb. Her boyfriend, Caleb’s brother Luke, is a virgin. Caleb is a good-looking nutjob, their father Donald borders on creepy and weird, and she has her own drunk mother and parental issues to deal with. As a psych major who hasn’t been able to sort herself out, is it any wonder she’s slowly drawn to the volatile Caleb? And can anyone survive this triangle?


The performances are fantastic, and I had a pretty good time watching Caleb contradicting himself at every turn. Adam Scott does a brilliant job in making the audience going from wanting to punch him to hug him and back to punching in a matter of minutes.

Luke seems like the more innocent and normal of the bunch, but that might exactly be what’s backfiring in his relationship. It’s not that Emma wants a bad guy per se, but she’d certainly be prepared for one who deals with his issues out on the open.

It’d be appropriate to call Caleb both the antagonist and protagonist of the story: He’s the main character. We get to know him the most. He is also the one screwing up things left and right, and doing almost always the wrong thing to sort things out or feel better.

I’d definitely recommend this funny drama. Written and directed by Lee Toland Krieger.



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