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Palo Alto, CA (2007)
Rings true to American Graffiti!
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.
This was a great movie for being only 67 minutes long. There was an aspect of film-noir contained in this movie and I am glad that Nolan picked to film it in black and white. The plot is simple yet entertaining that keeps you engaged. Even the dialogue was good along with the acting. It reminded me of what was to come in Memento by not being in chronological order. I liked how the main character tried to use what Cobb taught him for example saying "everyone has a box" which he put his personal things into. Also, on the writer's door was the batman logo which seemed ironic because Christopher Nolan would later direct Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, two other great movies. There is a great twist in the end which I'm not going to spoil for anyone who hasn't seen it, even though I kind of figured what would happen when Cobb gave the young man D Lloyds credit card. I also liked how the writer had a copy of The Republic by Plato one of my favorite philosophical books. This is definitely a movie you need to watch more than once to get the full aspect of it, plus it only being an hour long. There is also a circular aspect to it by ending where it began which I thought was pretty brilliant.