The Bachelors | JK Simmons and Josh Wiggins star in moving comedy-drama about loss and recovery

The Bachelors Josh Wiggins JK Simmons
(Image credit: The Movie Partnership)

The Bachelors Josh Wiggins JK Simmons

A journey from grief.

Devastated by the early death of his wife, maths teacher Bill Palet (JK Simmons) moves across country to start a new life with his teenage son Wes (dewy-eyed Josh Wiggins) in The Bachelors.

Taking up positions as master and pupil at a swanky private school, they both struggle to deal with their grief. But when Wes discovers an outlet for his anguish through his friendship with self-harming homework partner Lacey (Odeya Rush), Bill finds it far harder to move on, despite the friendly overtures of French teacher Carine (Julie Delpy).

Writer-director Kurt Voelker’s indie movie is a little too pat in places. When Wes takes up cross-country running, for example, it is all too obviously a metaphor for pushing through the pain of grief. But the film remains appealing all the same thanks to some excellent performances, with Simmons’s crumpled vulnerability proving especially touching

Certificate 15. Runtime 100 mins. Director Kurt Voelker

Available on DVD & Digital from Bulldog Films.

Jason Best

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.