Friday, July 3, 2015

An Indie Romantic Comedy From Each Coast


Screwed-Up in New York City “In Stereo”

By Skip Sheffield

“In Stereo” and “The Overnight” are two small independent films about male-female relationship set on opposite coasts of the USA.
“In Stereo” is very much a New York City film. Set in Manhattan, it is about a volatile photographer, the actress-model he loved and lost, and a new, younger woman in his life who turns out not to be the dream girl he envisioned.
The photographer is David Gallo (Micah Hauptman), who has a confrontational approach to provoke dramatic photographs. His gorgeous new babe Jennifer (Melissa Bologna) has moved into his posh apartment, but David has cause to believe Jen may be cheating on him, and not with just anyone, but David’s best friend from childhood, Greg (Gary Hilborn).
David does some comical sleuthing to confirm his worst suspicions. Meanwhile a show of his radical new work is scheduled for an opening. David invites his former flame Brenda (former Guess Jeans model Beau Garrett) to the reception. Brenda has been having a meltdown of her own which threatens her acting and modelling career.
“In Stereo” has lots of hip, clever dialogue by first-time writer-director Mel Rodriguez III. It has plenty of casual profanity and sex talk too, but overall it seems pretty accurate in its portrayal of young, screwed-up urban types.

Startling Revelations in “The Overnight”

“The Overnight” is set on the other coast in Los Angeles. Ever heard of “Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice?” This is a contemporary take on that swinging 1969 Paul Mazursky comedy.
Alex (Adam Scott of “Parks and Recreation) and Emily (Taylor Schilling of “Orange is the New Black”) and their young son RJ (R.J. Hermes) are recent arrivals to Los Angeles from the relative peace and quiet of Seattle. Eager to make new friends, after they have a chance encounter with a friendly, eccentric artist named Kurt (Jason Schwartzman), they accept his invitation for a pizza party and play date at Kurt’s home with his wife Charlotte (Judith Godreche) and their son Max.  Alex and Emily are a bit naïve. You could call them clueless, as Kurt and Charlotte send distinct signals they are not your ordinary homebodies. “The Overnight” becomes cringe-worthy at times, especially when Alex, at the encouragement of Kurt, goes Full Monty in the family pool. Adam Scott is certainly one brave actor, and he must really have faith in writer-director Patrick Brice’s project, because he is executive producer. To each his own.