Chris Pine's Directorial Debut 'Poolman' Receives Negative Reviews at TIFF

Chris Pine's directorial debut film "Poolman" premiered at TIFF 2023 to overwhelmingly negative reviews, holding a 19% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Despite the poor reception, Pine remains positive and proud of the project, emphasizing the importance of joy and playfulness in his work.

author-image
Bijay Laxmi
New Update
Chris Pine's Directorial Debut 'Poolman' Receives Negative Reviews at TIFF

Chris Pine's Directorial Debut 'Poolman' Receives Negative Reviews at TIFF

Chris Pine's directorial debut film'Poolman' premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in 2023 to overwhelmingly negative reviews, despite Pine's pride in the project. The film, which Pine co-wrote, co-produced, and stars in alongside Annette Bening and Danny DeVito, currently holds a 19% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Set in present-day Los Angeles with a retro aesthetic, 'Poolman' is a character comedy that spoofs 1940s detective movies. Pine plays Darren Barrenman, a pool cleaner who becomes embroiled in a mystery involving real estate corruption. Critics have panned the film, calling it "a deadly dull flop" and "one of the worst directorial debuts in recent memory." The screenplay and Pine's lead performance have been heavily criticized as unfunny and grating.

The film's premiere at TIFF was met with a significant number of walkouts, and the festival buzz has been largely negative. Even the typically kind TIFF audiences have been unimpressed with 'Poolman.' The film's attempts at absurdist humor have fallen flat, and the supporting cast, including DeVito and Bening, have been deemed underutilized.

Despite the poor reception, Pine has remained positive about the experience. Ina recent interview on the 'Happy Sad Confused' podcast, he addressed the reviews, saying he"fully owned the deep hurt"but also felt more resilient as a result. Pine emphasized the importance of maintaining joy and playfulness in his work, stating,"It's forced me to double down on joy... As an actor... fundamentally, it's about play, right? What we do is essentially become children for hours a day and make-believe."

Pine's love for film, review'Poolman' remains strong. He passionately declared, "I f*cking love this film." The actor-turned-director described the movie as "deeply weird" but "sweet and fun," with a unique tone that showcases people being nice to each other. While 'Poolman' may have missed the mark with critics, Pine's enthusiasm for his quirky passion project is undeniable.