On the heels of a bitter breakup, 30 year old Dylan travels home to Minnesota for a family reunion where he runs into his childhood sweetheart. Having not seen each other for 18 years, ... See full summary »
Alan is a musician who leaves a busted-up band for New York, and a new musical voyage. He tries to stay focused and fends off all manner of distractions, including the attraction to his good friend's girlfriend.
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Rather ridiculous story attempts a romance between a Mexican soap star with a dream of competing in the Olympics and escapes her country by swimming the Rio Grande with a man who is totally... See full summary »
Not that this is anything like Rushmore. Just more as if Wes Anderson had a great script, a great cast, and then handed the camera to someone who had no idea what they're doing. I'll explain this later...
I'll premise this by saying that I'm a sucker for breakup movies. While most writers and creatives try to write something like "The Great American Novel", I've spent a great deal of time either looking for or writing the perfect breakup movie. Despite having lived a far from sheltered life, my love life has dealt me my most devastating blows, and thus, I'm always interested in giving and getting insight into that low, miserable window of breakup paralysis almost all of us experience in our lives. While the trailer for this didn't exactly promise any in-depth wisdom, it did seem to offer a good deal of dark-humor rooted in this type of misery and was instantly excited to see it. I was then thrilled to find the director was selling advanced copies through the website. It went straight from my mailbox to the DVD player where I soon discovered that whoever cut the trailer was far more talented than the guy who made this film.
As far as the good, Justin Rice is great as always. His acting style is casual, natural. Most of the supporting actors are above par for this budget as well. The script is rarely shy on wit and while, again, it never gets too in-depth or insightful, it's nonetheless entertaining.
Now the bad: It's not that I don't like the low-budget mumblecore scene -- i love it. I'm a proud participant in it with my own film-making. And while playing by the conventions and filming with professional gear is by no means the only way to make a good film--I'm as much of a student of Cassavettes or Godard as anyone and I love to see low budget filmmakers turnout out a great product. But this movie could have greatly benefited from at least a few technical basics. A single, hand-held HD cam captures the whole film. Most scenes seem to be shot in one continuous take from a single angle, often panning from one character to the other during dialogue and feeling all too often like a home movie rather than cinema. Multiple angles, some basic cinematography, and some swifter editing would have doubled its production value and made this film exponentially more enjoyable and easy to watch.
To sum it up, you've got a great idea with good source material executed with great actors delivered with the hand of an amateur. It just doesn't match up. There's great, innovative, low-budget movie-making, and then there's the home movie you shot yourself on a handicam. This, unfortunately is the latter.
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