Having recently received its world premiere at the inaugural Hollywood Film Festival, "Cadillac" is a good-looking, sensitively directed drama that ultimately can't transcend its stagy, talky script.
In his sophomore effort, young filmmaker Andrew Frank ("Friends & Enemies") brings an assured, refined touch to the portrait of three old high school buddies who have finally hit a crossroads in their shared state of prolonged adolescence.
Now in their mid-30s, the obnoxious Todd (Taylor Nichols
), a successful commercial realtor, and Michael (Daniel Roebuck
), a nice-guy employee for a computer-software firm, would appear to lead normal lives.
But they have a constant reminder of a serious screw-up in the person of Jimmy (Lenny Von Dohlen), a piece of damaged goods who holes himself up in Todd's garage obsessively trying to resuscitate his 1970 Cadillac and desperately clinging to long-gone ideals.
It turns out Jimmy spent a year in a psychiatric hospital following a very bad acid trip at the hands of his two buddies. The subsequent years of pent-up, unspoken guilt have taken their toll on the trio and are about to be confronted in one big, soul-cleansing blowout.
Frank's cast -- also including Stephanie Romanov
as Todd's harassed fiancee, Kathy; Traci Lind
as Jimmy's disastrous blind date, Missy; and Annabelle Gurwitch
as Michael's friend, Renee -- delivers earnest, committed performances, though Von Dohlen's wounded-rabbit interpretation borders perilously on parody.
Not that he's fully to blame, given Bruce McIntosh
's overwritten, dramatically static script that fails to deliver satisfactorily on its deep, dark secret of a buildup. It's too bad, because Frank manages to put a lot of polish on an obviously modest budget. He's handsomely assisted in that accomplishment by DP Maximo Munzi
and composer Alan Williams, not to mention enough nostalgic hits from the '70s and '80s to fill a soundtrack album.
Director Andrew Frank
Screenwriter Bruce McIntosh
Producer Andrew Frank
Executive producers Martin Frank, Lorraine Rasmussen
Director of photography Maximo Munzi
Production designer Anna Gadsby
Editor Stephen Myers
Costume designer Lynn Bernay
Music Alan Williams
Jimmy Lenny Von Dohlen
Todd Taylor NicholsMike Daniel
Missy Traci Lind
Renee Annabelle Gurwitch
Kathy Stephanie Romanov
Running time -- 93 minutes
No MPAA rating