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|Index||14 reviews in total|
An innocent, sexually confused young man arrives from Georgia in Los
Angeles to discover life on his own. Thus, begins the low-budget movie
"The Journey of Jared Price," a sometimes-amateurish,
sometimes-charming tale that has an old-fashioned message at its heart.
Corey Spears is Jared, and the young actor oozes clean-cut innocence
throughout the film. When a predatory older man with a set of his own
problems attempts to exploit Jared, the young boy begins to open his
eyes to the ways of the world. While Jared matures from the experience,
he becomes more assured and comfortable with himself rather than bitter
Jared's first job in Los Angeles is companion to a blind older woman, played by Rocki Craigg, who hires him literally sight unseen after barely hearing the sound of his voice. Although she locks her doors tight and screens visitors before opening to them, the woman apparently hears something reassuring in Jared's voice, because he is hired before any discussion of salary is even mentioned. Unfortunately, this implausibility is only one of several that litter the script. The young man's continuous use of a camcorder is another. He barely has enough money for a room in a hostel, yet batteries and videotape seem to be endlessly abundant to him.
The film also has a message with a capital M. Unfortunately, Ms. Craigg must relate most of that message to her young employee through stories from her youth. Thus, she is saddled with some of the film's most cumbersome dialog. Considering that this is the only film on Ms. Craigg's resume, she performs as well as can be expected, but, sauntering around the house without hesitation, she is not convincing as a blind woman.
Steve Tyler does a better job as the predatory son of the blind woman, and Josh Jacobson is convincing as the love interest or, perhaps better said, the young love interest. However, the film primarily rests on the shoulders of Corey, who appears in most scenes, and ably projects the right mixture of charm, innocence, and appeal. The film's timeworn message: choose carefully between the lure of material goals and the joy of true love, is not a subtle one, but it remains valid. Despite the movie's slightly rough-around-the-edges and on-the-cheap quality, "The Journey of Jared Price" will charm viewers with its simple story and old-fashioned message, and Corey as Jared will find a welcome place in your heart by fadeout.
In the commentary, the director says that the movie is a traditional
tragi-comedy with a moral appropriate for young students. Considering
the tendency of independent movies to plumb mysterious spiritual
depths, it is refreshing to see a movie that takes a dim view of
materialism and selfishness. (The mysterious depths of contemporary
movies are usually the astonishing ability of Hollywood to peddle
psychobabble and drivel as intelligent.) The explicit scenes introduce
a dark theme: is passion a bottomless pit? Are physical pleasures ever
The movie is an interesting and amusing contrast to Sunset Strip. Here the old woman is a saintly grandmother and her son is horny ho.
The movie was made by a young director in one week. His budget was probably a lot less than 1% of the budget for a typical Hollywood movie made for a general release.
The Journey of Jared Price has some very talented actors considering it is an indie film. The plot has potential as well. However, the dialogue becomes contrived at times if not completely ad libbed (ex., when Jared goes to Robert's room). About half way through the movie, the story seems to turn into the journey of Matthew Haines more than Jared. The scenes with Matthew and his assistant are pointless. We know Matthew is a creep, and he doesn't take her advice anyway. Furthermore, a trusting relationship between the two was not established as well as the relationship between Mrs. Haines and Jared. More time should have been spent on the budding relationship between Robert and Jared. Other than a few minor gripes, this movie is definitely worth watching at least once.
Corey Spears (who also plays a bit part in Traffic) does an amazing job of
pulling off the role of a
young man shoved into reality (and self-discovery) in L.A.
The film was shot in 5 days on about $30K, but doesn't look that way. The plot is solid, the characters well developed - a tribute to a very talented director and production/editing team.
The press once characterized this as an "after school special", but I think it's much more.
Check it out - it's worthy of rental - and possible permanently adding to your DVD collection.
THE JOURNEY OF JARED PRICE is a small budget Indie that has so much
going for it that overlooking the squeaky production values is not a
problem. Though it is obvious that the film was made in a short time
with a minimal budget (the quality of the film is washed out to almost
variations of gray), the direction and the cast serve the screenplay by
writer/director Dustin Lance Black well. It has some very fine moments.
Jared Price (Corey Spears), 19 naïve years of age, arrives in Los Angeles from Georgia with high hopes and little money and checks into a youth hostel where he meets Robert (Josh Jacobson) who is more than casually attentive to the oblivious but interested Jared, and finds a job as an attendant to blind woman Mrs. Haines (Rocki Craigg), a kind and wise wealthy lonely lady whose son Matthew (Steve Tyler) is 'paying for' someone to give his mother the attention she needs. Jared and Mrs. Haines quickly bond, each supplying the care and tenderness the other needs. Matthew is living the high life on his mother's wealth and is in a long-term (but only partially non-monogamous) relationship with Andrew (Bryan Shyne) and when he meets Jared the signals go up and Matthew introduces Jared to his first physical relationship. Matthew's only conscience is his work partner Kate (Gillian Harris) who warns Matthew to be true to Andrew and not to pursue Jared. But as the tryst between Matthew and Jared deepens, each of the men learns more about himself and what is actually important in life and the story ends with enlightened views of the meaning of love.
Each of the actors does a fine job finding the core of each character and there is enough comedy to keep the drama afloat. Yes, there are scenes of bedroom activity, but they for the most part are done with taste. This is a fine example of how a good story and crew can make a good movie on a minimal budget. Were that there were more of these...Grady Harp
This sweet, simple story on the surface is about the coming of age of a small town youth in the big city. But at its heart is the very honest, rarely touched upon tale of a young man struggling with the pressures and realities of first love in an environment where issues of the heart can often be tainted by lust and greed. Although the production values are low, and the setups simple, for the most part, the performances and themes are fresh and compelling.
This film was shot on a small budget in just a few days--and it shows. I thought the story was nice, and the script was even good. I would give this movie higher marks if the cinematography and acting had been better. Overall, I recommend the film.
TJJP is truly a gem! So fed up was I of films with bad endings, sad stories, awful developments, that to watch this journey was a real find. Everything is very simple in the tale, naiveté is the name of the game. I guess that if more gay films had these sensitivity audiences would flow. Nothing is forced in this simple story of a boy arriving in the big city and finding his way through it, having to decide between the eternal dilemma of love and money. Maybe what gave me such a good feeling in the tale is the protagonist, played by Casey Spears. He mixes such a great gentleness in a cute body you feel immediately sympathetic towards him. The fact that Casey made so little films after this is a proof that he was simply being himself, what adds to the film. The rest of the cast is not bad, having some highlights like Steve Tyler the spoiled son of Jarred patroness,. In the end, you will feel blissful after watching the Journey of Jarred Price, a film that deserves being watched multiple times.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There are too many incongruities here. (1) After an hour sitting in the
corridor owing to his roommate's commercial activities, why didn't
Jared go to the desk clerk and ask, "May I please have another room?
Javier's turning tricks in there and I really would like a place to
sleep." (2) Middle-aged blind women who insist on tightly locked doors
do not customarily hire young men as companions in their houses without
checking references. (3) Andrew leaves Matthew the very day after he
has told Jared that he intends to try to make the relationship last. We
didn't get to see the tearful scene (or terrific fight) after Andrew
took Jared home. It's a pity, for it probably would have been the best
scene in the picture. (4) Mrs. Haines's supposed wealth was not
reflected in her very ordinary and plain residence.
Jared's video diary was an interesting device and could have been used to turn a really effective plot point had there been one. The gratuitous sex is not unpleasing to the eye, but it does not redeem this silly picture.
This is not the worst movie I have ever seen, although it is pretty
bad. I could at least watch it, and Corey is adorable.
The dialog is stiff and forced. It often seems like the actors are performing impromptu. There are numerous technical errors. Lighting being the most notable. The sex scenes are seemed strange to me because in each of them the young men roll over onto their bellies to have there underwear removed. I don't know if I missed something, but it was strange because it happened every time - no variety.
If you're into really bad movies, try Travelling to Olympia. Now that's bad!
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