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Salad Daze (2009)

Recent high school graduate Alex Kaufman just got dumped, his grandfather died, and he's about the witness the breakdown of his dysfunctional family.


Randy Prywitch


Randy Prywitch


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jake Rubin ... Alex Kaufman
Emily Bates Emily Bates ... Meg Kaufman
Scott W. Bates Scott W. Bates ... Michael Kaufman (as Scott Bates)
David Rosenfeld David Rosenfeld ... Justin Kaufman
Gary C. Warren ... Uncle Donnie
Jamie C. Anderson Jamie C. Anderson ... Alyssa (as Jamie Anderson)
Peter Jacques Peter Jacques ... Shane Wheaton
April Diaz De Leon April Diaz De Leon ... Nina
Warren Jacobs Warren Jacobs ... Gareth
Ryan Alley Ryan Alley ... Marcus
Grant Harris Grant Harris ... Mitch
Mista Volz Mista Volz ... Courtney
Randy Prywitch Randy Prywitch ... Neville Price
Dylan Wells Dylan Wells ... Scotty Fresh
Laura Bates Laura Bates ... Drunk Girl


Recent high school graduate Alex Kaufman just got dumped, his grandfather died, and he's about the witness the breakdown of his dysfunctional family. Salad Daze is a serious comedy about loss, relationships, and other things that certainly aren't funny. Written by Randy Prywitch

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A serious comedy about loss, relationships, and other things that certainly aren't funny




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User Reviews

A glimpse into a promising future for comedic film-making
10 July 2009 | by Movie_Muse_ReviewsSee all my reviews

It's always a pleasure to watch a product of amateur film-making; you get to see what a person can do just with a camera, some willing friends and a near insatiable drive to tell a story that matters to them -- and only within their available means. Made possible today miles before it used to be with the accessibility of quality cameras and editing software, films such as "Salad Daze" provide a lens into the future of film-making: what kinds of techniques aspiring filmmakers might use if they had all the bells and whistles, and the stories they might tell with them. As is the case with "Salad Daze," they often leave us pleasantly surprised.

These limited means bring us a suburban coming-of-age comedy about a recent high school graduate named Alex Kaufman (Rubin), whose journey into a new chapter of life is greeted with an awkwardly congenial break-up speech from his girlfriend, Nina (Diaz De Leon). The break-up then amplifies his issues dealing with an already dysfunctional family situation, which begins to implode when news arrives of Alex's grandfather passing away.

I had the privilege to attend the world premiere of "Salad Daze" last April in Columbia, Mo. The audience there seemed to enjoy it foremost as comedy, though it has lots to offer. It's very light-hearted at times as the characters tend to jest frequently: the film and its actors have a natural sense of humor for the most part, even when they're surprisingly crude. On the other hand, both overtly and lying implicitly beneath the surface is a lot of suburban young adult angst: deep-seated family issues and clear walls blocking needed lines of communication between family members as seen through Alex, his dramatic sister Meg (Emily Bates), his reticent father Michael (Scott Bates) and his insensitive brother Justin (Rosenfeld).

Writer/director Randy Prywitch prefers to tell most of his story through humorous banter or dramatic dialogue. Many times, it's both at the same time. In order to show Alex's emotional journey, he bounces dialogue off a plethora of supporting characters big and small, that although a bit too numerous, generally help Prywitch achieve this purpose and provide some humor along the way.

The characters that work best are Alex's immediate family members. Bates the younger is given the film's toughest task of acting while on crutches and having to hold down the film's melodrama by enduring several torrential emotional breakdowns. She does excellently despite the overwhelming number of obvious (and implicit) handicaps. Rosenfeld is the epicenter of the humor element, doing his best to channel Vince Vaughn and actually finding a bit of success.

The characters that don't work as well are Alex's gratuitous friends and the more stereotyped roles of Justin's brainless girlfriend Alyssa (Anderson), who is a mild affront to women's independence, and the creepy borderline-incestuous Uncle Donnie (Warren). Both parts bring the more abrupt humor to the movie, but disturb it more than aid it -- though Donnie does shift toward becoming more meaningful with time.

More curious than the heavy use of dialogue, however, is how Prywitch elects to create emotion in his film: through soundtrack just as much as visuals. The soundtrack is -- to be nice -- extensive. No doubt this is a bi-product of 21-year-old Prywitch growing up in a multimedia era, where visuals are seemingly synonymous with music. Although it would be nice to see dramatic visuals play a greater role in twisting our emotions, given his means (no artificial lighting for one), the soundtrack playing a key role gives Prywitch's film a unique thumbprint.

But that's not all the role and influence technology plays in the film: obnoxious voicemail messages are part of both the humor and the drama ,and of all things in this complicated world of ours, a text message ends up being one of the key dramatic events in the entire film. Impressively, Prywitch says more about the way new modes of communication have seriously affected today's young adults' coming-of-age than he probably realizes.

That's what makes "Salad Daze" such an intriguing study of a film. Prywitch is incredibly in touch with his generation: he knows what they like and dislike, a good deal about what makes them laugh and a bit about what makes them think, and maybe above all else, what music to set it to. ~Steven C

Visit my site at http://moviemusereviews.com/

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Release Date:

11 April 2009 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Chesterfield, Missouri, USA


Box Office


$2,500 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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