On the day of his son's third birthday, without discussion with his wife or even leaving a note, Manhattan architect Cal gets in the family Volvo and starts driving. Marriage is suffocating him. His traveling seems aimless: stopping to work construction, drinking heavily, picking up women, thinking about his wife and son but not calling them. He sometimes goes across the borderline into fantasy as he imagines resolutions to his travels. It turns out that his travel West is not altogether aimless: he has a destination and some questions to ask. Once they're answered, will he remain the mythic restless American male or re-cross the borderline to return home? Written by
In the first bar scene, where Cal loudly complains about his song not being played on the jukebox, the song he has selected is "Hard to Handle" by the Black Crowes. See more »
When Cal and the hitchhiker girl drove towards the Minneapolis airport, the weather was cold, somber and gray, and there was a light dusting of snow on the ground. Yet once in the airport, when Cal was talking to his old schoolmate Jack, the camera view out the window of the airport showed a sunny sky and lots of greenery, with absolutely no snow anywhere. See more »
I'm doing this for myself. Say "me too"?
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World Traveler's star is one of the best and most under-rated actors working in film today. Billy Crudup impresses every time out, but hasn't yet found the role that will propel him onto the A-list. Unfortunately World Traveler isn't likely to raise his profile. He plays Cal, a successful thirtysomething who suddenly leaves his wife and child in search of something intangible just beyond the horizon. On the road he meets people who force him to examine the painful corners of his life. Directed by Bart Freundlich, (Julianne Moore's real-life husband), the movie crawls along at a snail's pace, and never really exploits the energy inherent in a road picture just being on the road with the top down and the pedal pressed to the metal. Cal is the typical `the guy who's trying to find himself,' but he is so self-centered that as a viewer I found myself wishing he would just get lost and never come back. There is some strong acting here though. Canadian Liane Balaban (New Waterford Girl, St. Jude) has a minor but satisfying role. The best work in the film, however, belongs to James LeGros who has a chance meeting with Cal in an airport. They knew one another in high school, and LeGros has been harbouring a grudge against Cal for fifteen years. In a scene that is almost worth the price of admission he unloads an avalanche of resentment on Cal, who listens and decides to change his life. It is a well written scene, wonderfully played by Crudup and LeGros, but not enough to carry the whole movie.
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