'Homework' would be a good film to watch if you were cramming for your Indie Films of the 2000s final and didn't have time to see everything on the syllabus. It's like a Cliff's Notes version of every teen-centered Sundance comedy of the last decade.
Precocious teenage boy who's a slacker at school because he finds the material unstimulating? Check. Calls his teachers by their first names, cuz he's quirky like that? Check. Reads philosophy, watches foreign films in repertory theaters, fixates on death and mortality? Has major potential as an artist/writer/thinker if he'd just apply himself? Falls in love with a classmate, leading to a journey of self-discovery and coming of age? Check, check, check.
The familiarity of all these elements isn't the problem; it's the unimaginative fashion in which they've been cobbled together. 'Homework' is the first feature by writer-director Gavin Wiesen, and I don't think there's a single fresh idea anywhere in it. No witty dialogue, interesting characters, or amusing scenarios, either. It should have a plain brown label and be called ' Festival Movie.'