Epoch Films Director Hannah Pearl Utt’s “Cora Bora” Hits the Big Screen

June 14, 2024

“While on the 2023 film festival circuit, Cora Bora was billed as comedian and Hacks scene-stealer Megan Stalter’s first leading role. For me, that was reason enough to prioritize seeing director Hannah Pearl Utt’s (‘Before You Know It’) comedy-drama at Frameline’s 47th San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival. Stalter delivered in spades, but much in the same way her character, aspiring musician Cora, masks her messy pain with music and self-delusion, ‘Cora Bora’ masks a gut-punch character study in cringe-comedy trappings.

Anyone familiar with the star’s sketch and improvisational comedy will know that Stalter excels at playing deluded, theatrical characters. It’s exactly why the comedian-turned-actor thrives as Hacks’ Kayla, a self-assured, yet deliberately unaware, Hollywood assistant. Stalter brings those chops to ‘Cora Bora,’ playing a down-on-her-luck millennial who inexplicably uproots herself, moving from Portland to Los Angeles with dreams of making it, broken guitar case and all.

Coasting from one under-attended gig to another, Cora has a sudden realization: Her girlfriend Justine, played by the ever-charming Jojo T. Gibbs (‘Twenties,’ ‘Civil War’), is pulling away. With her open relationship on the rocks, Cora decides to show up completely unannounced in Portland — at the house she used to share with Justine. When it becomes painfully clear that Justine has a new primary partner, Riley (Ayden Mayeri), Cora clings to any excuse she can think of to account for Riley’s presence.”

Head to Screen Rant to read the full review!