When you become more fond of film as an art form, you begin to gravitate towards specific actors. I have no shortage of names and faces that are appealing to me, and I often come across new titles because I search through the filmography of specific people. The Daytrippers, outside of this appealing illustrated cover, came via researching Parker Posey, whom I loved in Columbus and Josie and the Pussycats.
Another interesting factoid about this is that it was the debut feature film directed by Greg Mottola, who would later direct Superbad. Funny to consider when this and his later work have seemingly nothing in common (at least from what I remember of Superbad fifteen years ago). If not for the appealing cast and potential for insightful character interaction, I may not have even bothered.
“Eliza D’Amico thinks her marriage to Louis is going great until she finds a mysterious love note to her husband. Concerned, she goes to her mother for advice. Eliza, her parents, her sister Jo, and Jo’s boyfriend all pile into a station wagon to go to the city to confront Louis with the letter. On the way, the five explore their relations with each other and meet many interesting people.”
Actual (Short) Review
Ain’t much to say, ’cause there isn’t much to this. Not to insinuate this makes it a bad film (it isn’t), only that with how straightforward it is, there isn’t a terrible amount to digest.
What makes The Daytrippers work is its cast. Each actor plays their part almost perfectly, embodying a specific archetype of person that ends up becoming lifelike enough. How they interact is equally as enjoyable, especially those with amicable facades that deter those unaware of their more deplorable innards. (Their personalities, that is.) Even those you assume are good end up falling into some pit under dire circumstances. All it takes is a little pressure.
Where this film wants to land on the tonal scale is somewhat unclear to me. Sometimes it’s fairly cynical, sometimes it’s really wholesome. Occasionally dramatic, generally comedic. Slice of life, somewhat? An almost flip-flopping nature coats the (relatively short) film’s entirety. Even with how quickly it passes, there are scenes I believe don’t amount to much.
Sort of a road trip investigative piece involving a likable cast of characters, imperfect in their natures. Some grow, some regress; those too stubborn to see their own flaws sort of submerge in their own faults and are left there. Revels in a sort of Point A to Point B path that occasionally ventures offtrack for the sake of it. The “interesting people” noted in the synopsis are involved with a lot of off-script meandering.
Ending was cute, though. A tender embrace in the dead of night after a long day of struggle and confusion. Much is left up to interpretation, which I like, even if it doesn’t feel entirely climactic. If nothing else, this is enjoyable for the amusing back and forth between characters and the irony of many characters’ obliviousness.
Ended up having a sincere amount of fun with this, even if it’s not entirely memorable the whole way through. I preferred the ending more than the beginning, and wish certain characters got a bit more time to develop. For what it’s worth, it’s an endearing experience that brings out some sweet humanistic vibes of togetherness. Don’t regret watching it, just regret how… compact it is, I suppose.
Final Score: 6.5/10
The rating for all other films can be found at Letterboxd.
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