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D. Shone Kirkpatrick
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Klaus Maria Brandauer,
A pair of women decide to prank their roommate's nerdy blind date after she stands him up, but end up developing a friendship with him after their practical joke sends them on an all-night odyssey through the 1980s club scene.
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Great Characters And Fine Performances Make For An Interesting And Enjoyable Ride
I just saw a wonderful little independent film starring John Mahoney as the lead character amongst a bunch of interesting characters who come together when a movie director decides to use Mahoney's roadside diner as the main location for his biopic on James Dean. Dean supposedly drove off the road to his death very near the diner, and in the film within the film he is shown visiting the diner before his fateful ride. By the way, both the film and the film within the film are loosely based on what actually happened to Dean.
The location of Mahoney's diner, and the surrounding mountainous terrain is a beautiful, but desolate location where only these types of goofy but lovable characters would find themselves eeking out their existence living off the legend of James Dean. The film's main focus is the development of the characters and how they intertwine with each other. The plot revolves around the making of the movie, and Mahoney's dealing with an incident in his past that he hasn't figured out how to deal with yet.
The cinematography, and score are outstanding, as is the direction, with some very nice touches both musically and visually to accentuate tone, and mood. The entire cast does a great job in their roles, and first time director Terry Green (who also wrote the screenplay) does a good job of bringing the characters together for some interesting situations including some great dialogue. There seems to be real chemistry between these characters and they are a lot of fun to watch.
Both the basic plot of the film, and the focus of the film on developing characters reminded me of David Mamet's "State and Main". We see behind the scenes of a movie set, and see how the characters from Hollywood interact with the small-town characters with some very humorous results.
The movie overall has a good vibe about it as you really enjoy learning more about the characters as the film goes on. This film reminded me of "Murphy's Romance", with Mahoney similar to James Garner's "Murphy", and the rest of the cast looking to him as the wisest of the bunch. I found myself not wanting the movie to end, as I would like to continue to be with these characters to see what would actually become of them after the movie people left town. I liked these characters that much.
So in the end the movie's main strength is its characters, along with some beautiful cinematography, a good story, and some fine direction to bring it all together. I highly recommend this film. See it if you can, it's an interesting and enjoyable ride.
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