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Reviews & Ratings for
Palo Alto, CA More at IMDbPro »

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29 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

Finally, a film with college-age friends where you care about the characters

Author: lrapoport from United States
30 April 2007

I just saw Palo Alto at the Tribeca Film Festival. I loved this movie. Sure, any movie will seem better when you are seeing it at the world premier with members of the cast and crew in the theater, but this is a film that everyone can enjoy. If you liked Garden State you should definitely see this. For an older reference, think back to American Graffiti. The four high school friends who are home for Thanksgiving vacation meet and then separate for the evening. The movie follows the four on their different experiences. Usually when a movie does this I find that there are only one or two story lines that are interesting but in this case I was looking forward to the return of each character. The characters evolve in ways that are both entertaining and believable because the writing is real and the actors played their parts perfectly. Tom Arnold played the funny character who pops into scenes with wit and wisdom. While in some movies this character is one-dimensional, even this character had depth in Palo Alto. Also, the music was perfect and I hope a soundtrack is released. Be sure to see this movie when it is released.

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17 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

This is what should be in theaters right now

Author: bonzaipenguin
7 May 2007

This movie is an incredible testament to youth culture today. I loved every second of it, and almost didn't believe it when I was told it was made by people my own age.

Instead of watching what big studios THINK we want to see, those of us who saw this at Tribeca got to see something that we actually relate to. The characters were not caricatures (which is a first in this genre), and it promotes some *actual* creative thought. The movie also features some incredible young talent in the acting world that was very innovative of the crew to cast.

I loved this movie, I wish I could see something like this more often in the creative world.

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10 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Great movie

Author: mimsey_tove from United States
19 June 2007

A fall release would be good for commercial distribution. The target audience will identify with the story line more then.

I liked this movie. There was a literary quality to the story line which had genuine complexity and depth. The characters were engaging, the photography was well done, even lovely at times, there was some suspense that held the different threads of the story together...incredible that such a young group produced this film.

I hope this gets wide release.

I expect we will be seeing a lot more of Leong in the future. With a bigger budget these kids could produce blockbusters in a few more years.

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

The Most Amazing and Touching Experience of a Lifetime

Author: bournefootball from United States
6 June 2009

I loved this movie. I couldn't believe it. I thought it would just be like another "Remember the Daze aka The Beautiful ordinary" but this goes the extra mile. You felt for the characters and cared about what was going on. Its a true life story that is captured so perfectly its incredible. The young actors in this film really make it believable. It was a prize to sit and watch this. Not one moment was I bored or thought it was overdone. This is better than most of the movies out there today. You can take away many things from this masterpiece. It gives you hope, sadness, joy, and passion. Its a must see for any teen. You'll Love It!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:


Author: cinema_student2010 from United States
18 December 2010

When I first discovered this movie in 2007, it had only been played at the Tribeca Film Festival. Then it was released for an audience at UCLA, and well i was more than anxious to see this movie . Even when it did make its way to DVD release, it was very difficult to find. Thank god for Netflix! I thought it would have a whole dazed and confused type feel to it. It didn't. But it still does emit that sort of indie movie feel when you watch it. Okay, so basically theirs a group of four friends, that are home from high school. Their all kind of going off in their own directions, but still trying to hold on to the past. Whats really neat about this film is that it all takes place over a course of one night. So you get very attached to the characters. You can really feel the actors confusion, care and emotion. I was so excited to see this movie mainly because of the cast. I've always found Tom Arnold very amusing, and who doesn't love Ben Savage (Boy Meets World). I was also curious to see Aaron Ashmore and Ryan Hansen reunite again after working so well together on Veronica Mars. After seeing Johnny Lewis play a tough biker in Sons of Anarchy, I found it a little hard to watch in such a meek/geeky role. But I guess it goes to show how much a dynamic actor he can be, because he has portrayed both quite well! The comedy is surely underplayed, but their are a few amusing(not funny) scenes.the camera work in the film is purely average.Does do a good job of depicting the changes we go through as we grow up. New relationships beginning, old ones ending.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

I've watched this 20 times and I still love it!

Author: mtbeale from United States
8 July 2009

The modern cure for every lost and cynical teen, "Palo Alto" aims to eliminate the common misconception that life must be perfect. The lifestyles of four college freshman yield separate crises that are inevitably tied together to exploit this theme.

For one character, the true meaning of fraternity brotherhood is understood--a relief granted by this film, as most college movies portray frats as only about "chicks and beer."

For another character, his life is turned around by an old bus driver and a lonely, quirky girl that is played tremendously well by Autumn Reeser.

There are other characters as well, but summarizing them here will give too much away.

To finalize: Being an independent film, it's up to the viewer to choose how to relate to each character. That said, it is definitely a "Thinker" film. So pay attention!

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Author: skevyo from United States
4 February 2013

This movie was alright, The concept really reminded me of another movie thats on Netflix, "Remember the Daze" which was obviously a spin off of "Dazed and Conufsed" but, I loved seeing Ben Savage, who's acting was pretty good as always; All-around the cast wasn't bad. Some parts of the movie were dumb, like, how did that party not get raided by the cops? I have been to parties like this before and that's all we think about happening aha. I guess the cops in Cali don't care. But, this movie really depicted on how everything changes throughout your life and how you have to let everything go and start the next chapter of your life. Really makes me think on how my life is gonna be after my senior year ends this year. Sad, Scary, but yet makes me excited.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Well done

Author: lewis-8 from Palo Alto, California
22 January 2011

Watching this it's easy to believe it's an independent film, but I was surprised and impressed to learn it was also a first film for the producer, writer and director. The production values were very high, the casting was spot on, the direction was excellent, the music moved with the story, and the story telling was terrific. Hard to believe that the director couldn't legally drink at the post-production party because he was still under 21.

There are at least four major stories happening at once, each centered around one of four college friends who are back home in Palo Alto for Thanksgiving break. Other sub-plots and side-plots figure in, generally offering more meat than filler.

My only question was how these four guys actually came to be friends. High school tends not to be a very egalitarian environment, and it seemed to me that these four fellows might not have had enough in common in high school to be this close after a little college time.

Still, the individual stories were all true to life, not overly complex (which would have been inappropriate for the age of the characters), and interesting. Living in Palo Alto, part of me wishes the locale could have figured into the stories a tiny bit more, but that's a minor quibble. Not only do I recommend this (more of a guy flick than a chick flick), but I'll definitely watch it again. Well done, you first-timers!

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Rings true to American Graffiti!

Author: lucasmoorehead23 from United States
14 March 2010

This movie was hilarious the entire way through. I couldn't stop laughing. I think that it's one of the most true to life college movies ever. Every single character reminded me of one of my friends or myself. The actors were brilliant, I've seen almost all of them in either TV shows or other movies. Anthony (played by Ryan Hansen) was just as funny in Party Down a new TV show on Starz which I would recommend to anyone who loved this. I fell in love with Jaime (Autumn Reeser who played Taylor in The OC and was in Smokin Aces 2) who is beautiful with such a nice way of life. The boy she met was Nolan Larson, also my friend's name, played by Johnny Lewis who was Chili in The OC. Tom Arnold was great as a bus driver and one of my favorite characters was the grandma played by the great Eve Brent (The Green Mile). This reminded me of Kicking and Screaming (1995 directed by Noah Baumbach) another true to life college movie that made me reminisce my college years. The only problem is that no one has seen this movie, they need a wide release to reach more audience members. I can't believe that Palo Alto was made by a 20 year old and I can't wait to see what he does next. He put a lot of thought into this movie to make it seem real and had a talented ensemble. Most college movies are just about scoring chicks and drinking beers but this is that and so much more. I'm sure that anyone can relate to a number of the characters. I can't wait to show this to my friends and hope to find it on DVD soon, I know this is the type of movie that I can watch over and over again and still like it just as much. I also recommend Metropolitan (1990 by Whit Stillman) which is a more intellectual side of college kids with great dialogue and a lot of laughs. Also, on the contrary another movie that is so true and almost defined my middle school years was Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995 by Todd Solondz who also directed Happiness) which I saw as a kid and almost lived it out to my own life and just realized it when I saw it a couple months ago.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Nothing like watching a movie filmed in your home town

Author: fordman992 from United States
27 October 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I absolutely loved this movie. Ben Savage, Tom Arnold and the rest of the cast couldn't have been more perfect. The scenes and dilemma's that the characters got into were hilarious and it was especially fun to see so many familiar locations such as the Palo Alto High School Auto shop(which still needs to step it up to be comparable to Los Altos High, GO EAGLES) and of course the abandoned house which may or may not have been the one that me and many friends used to sneak into, but the most fun was when i was watching the scene at the 4 corners in downtown Los Altos with Jaime and Nolan thinking to myself that's where i grew up and spent most of my high school years, the movie itself was amazing but the experience of reliving a lot of my school years was even more amazing.

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