A coming-of-age story featuring Vera Farmiga as a narcissistic New Age mom, David Duchovny as her pot-smoking Jesus-bearded goat herder/poolman and Ty Burrell as the divorced dad with the new wife, would appear to have all sorts of behavioral flavors to chew on.
Alas, "Goats" — to borrow from the traits of its titular ruminants — nibbles on a lot of stuff it never gets around to digesting.
Adapted from Mark Jude Poirier's novel (by the author himself), the film takes 15-year-old Ellis (Graham Phillips) on a tour of responsibility-challenged parental figures as he bounces from mom's Arizona desert hideaway — beautifully shot by Wyatt Troll — to an East Coast prep school and back.
But it all remains remarkably free of memorable comic situations, dramatic tension or emotional insight. Adolescence may be bruising, crazy or normal, but it's rarely this staid.