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Surrogate Valentine (2011)

Not Rated | | Comedy | 30 September 2011 (USA)
2:00 | Trailer
San Francisco indie musician Goh Nakamura lives a life on the road, navigating friendships and relationships.


Dave Boyle
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Goh Nakamura ... Self
Chadd Stoops ... Danny Tunrer
Lynn Chen ... Rachel
Mary Cavett Mary Cavett ... Valerie
Joy Osmanski ... Amy
Parry Shen ... Bradley
Calpernia Addams ... Tammi
Eric M. Levy ... Arthur
Josiah Polhemus Josiah Polhemus ... Dave Margolis
Dan Bjornson Dan Bjornson ... Mark (as Dan 'Damage' Bjornson)
Di Quon ... Emily
Alexandra Anthony ... Diane (as Alexandra Fulton)
Natalie Lander ... Sarah
Manuela Horn Manuela Horn ... Mark's Girlfriend
Matthew Gallagher ... Fan #1 (as Matthew A. Gallagher)


San Francisco indie musician Goh Nakamura lives a life on the road, navigating friendships and relationships.

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Mark: You know, Seattle scene is the Seattle scene. They want people who are from Seattle. You got the whole situation with Chris Cornell from Soundgarden, fucker does business and lives in Paris, but they still sell it as a Seattle product. It makes no sense, man. Dave Matthews lives a mile and a half from Fremont by the Woodland Park Zoo, nobody calls him Seattle. It's the interesting but crazy thing about Seattle. It's a bitch, there's nothing I can do about it.
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Smooth One
By Snack and Cmish
Courtesy of Money Studies Records
© 2010, Money Studies Record
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User Reviews

I wanted to like it, but it's more middling that good or bad. Nice b&w feel.
9 January 2013 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

Surrogate Valentine (2011)

An interesting if not commanding attempt to show a slice of life of a promising young musician at a crossroads in his life. There are echoes here are of the much better in other movies, including the really special "I Am Not a Hipster" released 2012.

Here in rather nice black and white we have quiet (rather introverted) guitarist and singer who is asked to help train a loud (rather extroverted) actor who needs to pretend to play guitar in a scene. A couple of love interests (girlfriends) come and go, and a weird, incomplete friendship forms between the two male leads. On paper it sounds pretty cool.

The problem (with the movie) is multi-fold. For one, this story only goes so far. It's simple to the point of needed either depth of expression or some layering and complexity (you know: a subplot). It has neither. Sometimes it's even a little cursory (or confusing) as the lead trots between cities for a brief this or that (a performance, a talk). There are asides that don't quite matter (like a part about a promoter who collects guns).

The lead actor (Goh Nakamura) is rather good, but he's so restrained you don't totally get on board with his situation. The actor who is his counterpoint (Chadd Stoops) is appropriately over the top, but not completely convincing. The rest of the cast is fine to middling, sometimes bordering on obviously amateur.

Yes, I know it's a low budget indie. If you want to lower your bar and go along with the style as "necessary" to the genre, you might get more out of it than I did. Or than is there. The nuances of the time, the bits of Seattle and San Francisco in the backdrop, are not examined or revealed or even enjoyed for simply being there. The idea of making it in that world of renting studio time and performing half baked music and performing on a shoestring is great stuff, but it's subdued here. The meat of it is supposed to be the interaction between these two opposite males, and it never quite connects and takes off.

In short, it's a okay movie with an okay premise and some okay talents. That adds up to a watchable, gentle movie with a few strong moments. Is that clear without being brutal?

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Release Date:

30 September 2011 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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