Sundance Review: 'Spring Breakdown'
The first movie I saw at this year's Sundance Film Festival was "Push." That ended up being a predictable and satisfying Sundance choice. Tears were shed. Adversity was overcome. Budgets were low. As you may already have heard, "Push" features a career-redefining performance by Monique, though I'm less convinced than my colleague Greg that the movie has any real commercial prospects.
The second movie I saw at Sundance, though, was "Spring Breakdown."
On one hand, "Spring Breakdown" co-stars Parker Posey, which obviously guaranteed its placement in Park City. That being said, no matter how many Sundance movies Posey has had before and no matter how many she'll inevitably have in the future, this is the first and last time she'll ever be spotted wrestling a group of women in a pool of salsa.
And while lesbian love is always in vogue at Sundance, "Spring Breakdown" will be the fest's lone sapphic snog between Sophie Monk and Amber Tamblyn.
Yes, I'm well aware that's a mark in the movie's favor.
A few more words after the bump...
"Spring Breakdown" is actually screening as part of the Park City At Midnight program. It doesn't really need this exposure, since it already had distribution, albeit through Warner Brothers' straight-to-video imprint.
And, in truth, "Spring Breakdown" feels much more like that sort of fitfully funny (but frequently tedious) DVD offering than like a midnight movie. Directed by Ryan Shiraki, it's a solid PG-13 film and a pretty innocent one at that. It isn't nearly exploitative enough or raunchy enough to satisfy a late-night audience, though it's exactly low-brow enough to disappoint fans of stars Posey and Amy Poehler. [I'm not so sure that co-star and co-writer Rachel Dratch's fans expect the same level of intelligence.]
"Spring Breakdown" is a Frankenstein monster cobbled from elements of "Old School," "House Bunny" and "Revenge of the Nerds," but its basic sixth-wave feminist premise is built around its three leading ladies recovering their lost thirtysomething mojo during a week in South Padre. It takes booze, wet t-shirt contests and casual sex for them to realize either that they need to change their lives, or that they had it pretty good to begin with. I'm really not sure which.
In addition to the three leads (Posey looks, sounds and seems like she was invited to the party mostly as a proxy for Tina Fey), "Spring Breakdown" has a crackerjack supporting cast that's responsible for many of the laughs. When you have Jane Lynch, Missi Pyle, Will Arnett and Seth Myers stopping by to mug, you know there will be occasional amusement. But when you also have Kristen Cavalieri from "Laguna Beach" pretending to act, there are bound to be less mirthful distractions as well. Cavalieri, or the film's editors, at least have the sense to keep to the background in a bikini, letting Monk supply most of the eye candy, plus a distractingly bad Southern accent.
"Spring Breakdown" has spent some time on the shelf and this Sundance exposure will most get it press before it arrives on DVD, or at least that's my hunch. It was a bizarre thing to be watching in this milieu, but at least it offered a brief frivolous warm-weather distraction in this chilly locale.
1996 | Drama | RSummary: Tony Shalhoub and Stanley Tucci (who also co-writes and co-directs) star as brothers who attempt to save their failing restaraunt by staging a big event.Director: Campbell Scott, Stanley Tucci
Cast: Tony Shalhoub, Stanley Tucci, Marc Anthony, Minnie Driver, Isabella Rosselini
2014 | Romance | RSummary: Overeducated and underemployed, 28 year old Megan is in the throes of a quarterlife crisis. Squarely into adulthood with no career prospects, no particular motivation to think about her future and no one to relate to, Megan is comfortable lagging a few steps behind - while her friends check off m...Director: Lynn Shelton
Cast: Keira Knightley, Chloë Grace Moretz, Sam Rockwell, Kaitlyn Dever
1993 | Comedy | PGSummary: Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan are perfectly matched in a charming romantic comedy about the courtship between a lovelorn widower and an unhappily engaged journalist, instigated in part by the man's young son.Director: Nora Ephron
Cast: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Ross Malinger
2006 | Documentary | NRSummary: Dave Chappelle hosts the block party to end them all in Brooklyn, featuring stand-up comedy from Chapelle in addition to performances by Kanye West, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Common, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, the Roots, Cody ChesnuTT, Big Daddy Kane, and the reunited Fugees.Director: Michel Gondry
Cast: Dave Chappelle, Yasiin Bey, Lauryn Hill
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
2006 | Drama | NRSummary: Two old pals reunite for a camping trip in Oregon's Cascade Mountains.Director: Kelly Reichardt
Cast: Daniel London, Will Oldham, Tanya Smith, Robin Rosenberg
2000 | Drama | RSummary: Birdman director Alejandro González Iñárritu hinges three stories on an awful car accident, and explores the most difficult, and the most uplifting moments in life. Featuring Gael Garcia Bernal in a breakout role.Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Cast: Emilio Echevarría, Gael García Bernal, Goya Toledo
1961 | Comedy | NRSummary: Fortune hunter Holly Golightly finds herself captivated by aspiring writer Paul Varjak, who's moved into her building on a wealthy woman's dime. As romance blooms between Paul and Holly, Doc Golightly shows up on the scene, revealing Holly's past.Director: Blake Edwards
Cast: Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Patricia Neal, Buddy Ebsen
1994 | Documentary | RSummary: Underground comics artist Robert Crumb is profiled alongside his very odd, occasionally traumatized family members in this moving and darkly comic documentary.Director: Terry Zwigoff
Cast: Robert Crumb, Aline Kominsky, Charles Crumb
Let Streaming Genie help you.