Harland Banks’s review published on Letterboxd:
A film with an incredibly unique premise and some beautifully powerful moments, Spontaneous is without a doubt one of the most surprising watches of 2020 for me! The reason why I've rated this film a 3 is because despite the introduction of some greatly unique ideas the film still falls into the trap of using tired and generic subplots that are just simply not interesting and though I actually enjoy most of the characters a lot of dialogue and writing really came off as corny and at times overbearing.
This film had a lot of potential and definitely gave me some stuff I really liked but I really wish it went further down the route of craziness and didn't take such a unique idea and manage to make it kind of bland and predictable at times. Aside from that the cast wasn't bad by any means I always adore Katherine Langford whenever she's on screen but even her incredible charm and comedic timing wasn't enough to hide the cringe and corniness of a lot of these jokes and sadly a lot of the comedy and this especially goes for the dark humor didn't land in the way they intended it to.
The pacing for this film wasn't horrible but it wasn't necessarily great. For a decent amount of time the pacing felt like it was going into the right direction but every once in awhile it would be completely thrown off and that really hurt the structure and the flow of this film. The pacing also doesn't do a great job at complimenting some of the delicate themes of the film nor does glorify the tones of the movie really creating a distracting environment that can really throw your attention away.
I do want to make it clear that though I didn't love how the film all came together nor did I love the screenplay but I did definitely love a lot of the more complicated and complex ideas the film introduced. Especially the themes about death and life, I thought a lot of those more personal and intellectual ideas complimented each other really well and were handled in a great way to push the story and narrative forward while keeping the audience thinking and still engaged in the film. But ultimately my biggest issue is that even when you can feel the most connected to this film on an emotional level and when you are most engaged with this film on an intellectual level the filmmakers have so little control or direction that you can easily lose your grasp on the film in the most important moments and that really just sucked for me.
When Spontaneous is at it's best the film feels raw, genuine, thoughtprovoking and beautifully unique but sadly this film isn't really filled with many of these fantastic moments and has a little too much generic filler for my taste. I also felt like the development of the individual characters was pretty bad and if sacraficed for the sake of story I could maybe be ok with it but it seemed like it was just really lazy writing especially since the story itself also feels really underdeveloped. This is what my biggest problem with the film is, the writing. What started off as a fantastic and interesting idea was suffocated by a ton of mediocre and generic forgettable moments that felt like I'd seen them in so many movies before this. Spontaneous also at times really seemed to lack a heart or any charm at all and I was really upset with that. It's hard to emotionally connect yourself with a film that feels stale and heartless which is a huge issue when your film is dealing with so many of these complex ideas of death and life at a young age that lack of heart really makes it heart for me to even care. I'd still recommend this film because at it's core it is still something that had great intentions and wanted to be unique and original even if things went south it is still filled with some great moments and some laughs here and there!