The comedy “The Outside Story” takes a look at the life of Charles (Brian Tyree Henry), who is moping over his breakup with his bewitching girlfriend, Isha (Sonqua Martin-Green). When Charles gives chase to deliver a bailed tip to the delivery man, he sneaks out of his Brooklyn apartment for a day and must put his self-pity aside.
This prophecy forces him to come in contact with neighbors whom he never bothered to know. Unable to re-enter his comfort zone, he asks to use the bathroom of upwardly polymorous partners. He charges his phone with the help of a teenage piano prodigy who lives in his building. Charles is depressed, but very affectionately. He resembles everyone, even the over-busy police officer (Sunita Mani), who finds a new reason to interrogate Charles every time he circles the block. With the help of his new friends, Charles contemplates their romantic relationship and contemplation reconciliation.
The film, which was written and directed by Kasimir Nozkowski, sets an easy pace to match Charles’ mild ennui. The only problem is that the film does not meet the lack of stakes with style or substance. Cinematography is flat and lifeless, and Charles and his neighbors represent the Brooklyn Street style, with cardigans and embossed button-ups. It is a toothless version of the city, where disputes between neighbors are resolved without a single swear word, where a confrontation with the police is resolved over a sandwich. Even the dirt, grit, color and texture of the grime is scrutinized on the streets. It is a film with images that are as clean as their lossless characters, a cinematic scene that seems better suited to a satirical suburb.