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Neal Cassady is living the beat life during the 1940s, working at The Tire Yard and and philandering around town. However, he has visions of a happy life with kids and a white picket fence. When his girlfriend, Joan, tries to kill herself he gets scared and runs away. But when Joan reappears will he take the chance at that happiness, or will he turn his back on it? Written by
The best thing about this movie is the opening scene, where Neal Cassady is doing more daydreaming and dancing then he is working on his writing. The beginning of the movie screams to Cassady's life, and shows the audience a Marlon Brando type character that had strong ties with folks like, Allen Ginsberg and Jake Kerouac. Cassady, a forgotten literary figure with more passion for creativity then progress in writing, would later become the character to drive the bus in Ken Kesey's, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. It is important to note, that while Cassady had only one decent literary publication, his zealous outlook on life was borrowed by some of the "great literary beat writers" in America.
The Actor Keanu Reeves, who I have never been a huge fan of, does an excellent job of shedding light on Cassady's constant dissonance about leaving the life of a beat writer, for the life of a 9-5 working man with a stable house, beautiful wife, and loving family.
The movie overall, is about this dissonance, is about the passion that Cassady had for both the creative life and the more stable environment of the family life. Sadly, Cassady was unable to find balance between the two.
Do not expect, watching this movie that it will touch your life with a "wow-effect" forever. It is not some type of magical-beat-generation-movie that you can philosophize about for hours, it is just a pretty good movie.
What you can keep with you forever, however, is the soundtrack to this movie, The Last Time I Committed Suicide. With scores of music from folks like, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Tyler Bates, Ella Fitzgerald and Charles Mingus, this soundtrack is sure visit any jazz lovers CD player often.
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