THE LONG DUMB ROAD – A Review by Cynthia Flores
This movie proves the saying, “No good deed goes unpunished,” and because of that it makes for a very cool take on the buddy road trip movie genre.
The Long Dumb Road is the story of two guys that meet in a small town in Texas when they both need help. Young Nathan (Tony Revolori) who is traveling cross-country to Los Angeles where he’ll be attending art school and getting over his broken heart from the loss of his only ever high school girlfriend has stopped for gas and now can’t get his old mini-van to start again. He walks to the first car repair shop he can find, and runs smack dab into Richard (Jason Mantzoukas), a thirty-five-year-old mechanic who has just loudly quit his job at the shop. He tells Nathan that he can fix the van and he does. Instead of taking payment he asks Nathan if he can give him a ride up the road just forty-five miles way to the Greyhound bus stop. Nathan looks at this disheveled wild man who has kind eyes and decides to help him out. This sets up a series of hilarious events as they embark on an unplanned buddy road trip across the American Southwest.
You can tell this is an indie film because the shots and cinematography are not fancy but they get the job done. The director/ co-writer Hannah Fidell is a woman and does an excellent job telling a guys story, it’s the opposite of a chick flick and is a bromance instead. One is a man who has made all the wrong choices in life and now is just drifting. The other is young and has lived a sheltered life; he is naively just starting out on life as a student that wants to be an artist. He even shoots in real film and not digital because it's retro and cool. The two could not be any more different, but their ultimate friendship is hard won. It reminds me of the bond between Neal Page (Steve Martin) and Del Griffith (John Candy) in the hit 1987 classic Planes, Trains & Automobiles. That was a big budget film and went the zany route with two of comedy’s heavy hitters. The Big Dumb Road being an independent film shines its brilliance in its casting as well, but the heart is all in the script.
If you’re a fan of Jason Mantzoukas, you’ll love this movie. He plays to his strengths as a wild card who is as sweet as he is crazy. If you aren’t then you’ll feel like you were trapped in the car with a ranting fool. I personally love the guy and would gladly buckle up and enjoy the ride; you should too. I give this funny film The Long Dumb Road a solid B+ rating and hope to see more from this director soon.
Directed by Hannah Fidell
Written By Hannah Fidell, Carson Mell
Selig Rating B+
Running Time 1hr 30min
Limited Release November 16th AMC Grapevine Mills
Starring: Taissa Farmiga, Casey Wilson, Jason Mantzoukas
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.