** (out of four)
Let’s take a vote on what’s more compelling: People facing difficult emotions and dealing with them, or staring off into space for a while and ultimately experiencing minimal conflict? Thought so.
Chicago-based writer-director Stephen Cone’s “The Wise Kids” boasts better performances than his recent, underwhelming “In Memoriam,” but the filmmaker still takes a disappointingly superficial approach to worthwhile situations and characters lacking interior lives. Set in Charleston, S.C., “Wise” focuses on devoutly religious high school seniors (one of whom confronts his homosexuality) and a married church employee (Cone) struggling with his own identity.