Sometimes the best efforts need a little assistance

Assisted Living is a tale about Todd, an orderly in a nursing home who is as "barely there" as you can get

The film is an indictment on how Americans treat their elderly, and that's where it has its real power. There's a lot of questions raised by the film, which could lead to a lot of discussion. Here's hoping the film succeeds in its aims for distribution.

The downside is the film is fractured, both in tone and structure. This comes, understandably, by a shift in direction during filming when the deeper themes became apparent. Some scenes which serve a faux-documentary style, seem to fall flat. It would be better to cut them and stand as a simple, straightforward narrative. And then there's a shift partway through, from a more lighthearted, ironic approach, to something serious. It's not that such a thing can't be done, but that a change like that needs to be planned, and the film's content made to support that such a dichotomy exists - it wouldn't be too hard to presuppose that the intentions of placing someone in a nursing home would be subverted by time and circumstance, in fact that idea is present in the film, merely not in a way to shore the structure. I don't want to harp on about this, because I really do like the film, but there's something jarring about this change in the middle, and to me it is a serious distraction. I suggest people see this film anyway, and try to look the other way on this point.

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