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The Loneliest Road in America

by Erik Sean McGiven on Apr 05, 2010

This is a road trip that has neither a clear origin nor a realistic destination.  Two college buddies travel from Denver to Los Angeles, one a binge drinker the other a sulking moody bartending seeking a better job.   Colin Michael Day plays Jamie, a college graduate floundering in a dead end job and smothered by his needy girlfriend Amanda (Jennifer Devereaux).  For him, the trip is as much an escape as a search for a new life.  Matt, played by Chris Hayes, wants to get high and consumes beer after beer in this attempt.  Along the way they pick up Ashley (Abby Leigh) a girl they both dated in college.   They travel a highway in Nevada called "The Loneliest Road in America," a highway filled with ghost towns and abandoned buildings.  There is some reference to large corporations closing down the mines that once supported these towns, and we only get a glimpse of this through a moving car window.  Why bring it up if its not developed and made part of the story. 

What might have made this film more palatable if the wants, desires, and goals of these characters were better defined, made bigger and more worthwhile.  As is the dialogue is mostly annoying complaints about life in general.  There's nothing specific we can hold onto and truly care about. 

The performances, for the most part, are acting-workshop-level, ones that seldom engage the viewer.  Its surface acting without the reflections, expectations, realizations, the weighing of options, decisions points, and the over riding intentions and emotions one expects from solid acting.   The performance likely suffered as the results of the production's challenging logistic.  Filmed in 18 days on a shoestring budget while covering over 1100 miles, one can hardly expect a quality product.  The only character that comes off truly believable is Gerard played by Isaiah Musik-Ayala.  Gerard is an old college buddy they met up with in LA. 

"The Loneliest Road in America" is a film that has neither a satisfying start nor a finish.  And the parts in between move by annoyingly rather than entertaining us. 

CREDITS: Colin Michael Day, Chris Hayes, Abby Leigh, Jennifer Devereaux, and Isaiah Musik-Ayala. Casting: Tori Silvera Bush. Original Music: Jamey Scott. Cinematography & Editing: Tony McGrath. Costume Design: Anna Wickenden. Production Designer: Paul C. Miller. Executive Producers: Michael Day, Pamela Tahduin, and Barbara Newell. Producer: Corrin Jade Rueger. Written & Directed by: Mardana M. Mayginnes. Reviewed at MethodFest, a festival that celebrates actors and acting.

 

 

 

  July 16, 2019

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