On their journey, the trio must endure such perils as a botched motel scam, a dishonest furniture salesman, and an impromptu drunken wedding. Can Josh and Emily endure? Can true love win out? Do you even care?
This film is the kind of meandering, depressing, self-indulgent dreck that makes people think they hate independent cinema. It is the first feature film by the Duplass Brothers, Mark (co-writer, producer, lead actor) and Jay (co-writer, director, cameraman), and the team's inexperience shows.
The story has no momentum; there is no plot so much as there is a series of events which happen to follow one another. The movie doesn't conclude so much as it just stops. If the characters were interesting this could be acceptable, but they are not.
Josh and Emily are recycled caricatures of the immature, commitment-phobic boyfriend and the frustrated, long-suffering girlfriend. Maybe Rhett could have saved the dynamic if he'd been a truly original character, but he's not; he's just vaguely odd. There's nothing very memorable about him beyond his bushy beard.
In its visual and sound design the film is equally frustrating. The camera is handled in a pseudo-documentary fashion that is often intrusive and distracting. Handheld shots shake wildly without motivation, frames suddenly lose focus for no reason, and zooms and pans take place almost at random. I assume the intent was to make the movie seem more “real” and “immediate,” almost like we're watching someone's home videos, but the style just seems forced.
Similarly, the soundtrack is full of dead space. Long, drawn out pauses punctuate the lines, and there is virtually no music outside of a few travel montages. Again, the intended effect was enhanced realism, but instead these stylistic choices just help to make the movie feel interminably long, even despite its svelte 85-minute runtime.
The one bright spot in all of this is Kathryn Aselton, the actress who plays Emily. She is a beautiful, talented young woman whose skill far outshines her co-stars and the mundane material with which she is saddled. If we are lucky we'll see her again in a much more interesting film.