“Alex Strangelove” is a confident film about a confusing time. It’s a complex inner journey, and writer-director Craig Johnson (“The Skeleton Twins”) brings it to life in just about every way he can.Right off the bat, our teenaged hero Alex Truelove (Daniel Doheny, “Adventures in Public School”) tries to fit everyone in his high school into different species of animals, just to make sense of them all. The kid who dresses outlandishly is a Peacock Spider. We see Alex’s fantasies, we see drawings on the screen, we see online documentaries Alex makes with his best friend Claire (Madeline Weinstein, “Beach Rats”) that equate high school to a Savage Kingdom.Claire has been trying to seal that deal for a while now, actually, but Alex keeps talking himself out of it, and whenever he does psych himself up for sexiness, he either sounds like he’s losing in an improv game (“I’m going to sex you so good you won’t know what time it is”) or he falls victim to wacky, wacky fate.Getting puked on by a guy who just licked a psychoactive toad and binged on a giant jar of Gummy Worms is, it turns out, kind of a mood killer.
In my life and in most of the movies I’ve done, I’ve felt like I’ve had more of the lines, more of the stuff to do because I’m a very vocal, loud, sort of aggressive person.
Daniel Zolghadri (“Eighth Grade”) plays the platonic ideal of the teen comedy sidekick role, with climactic moments of sensitivity that don’t quite compensate for just how broadly he’s written the rest of the time.
And incidental characters like Sierra (Sophie Faulkenberry) and Dakota (Dante Costabile) seem to have stopped by on their way to their “Neighbors 3” audition.
In the film Wolff played Dzhokhar, who is currently on death row.
Wolff also stars as John Backderf in My Friend Dahmer, a film based on the graphic novel and memoir by John ‘Derf’ Backderf portraying his friendship with serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer in their high school years.