First of all I have to thank Brian Neufang for sending me a festival screener version of the film. The film is not yet officially released and tries to raise some additional resources via Kickstarter. So, if you’re interested in backing a movie project that delivers some great quality… head to the kickstarter page for a trailer. But what’s the movie about?
The movie starts with introducing us to the two main characters of the film. Both of them are salesmen, who try to get their own invented and manufactured products, into the world. You immediately see that these two guys believe in their products and work really hard to promote their business. One of the guys is Matt (Dallas Roberts). He’s the inventor and basically the brain behind all the products. The other guy is Sam (Jeremy Renner). He is kind of the muscle and drive that keeps things going. Sometimes that ‘drive’ goes a little too far. Sam and Matt have some tiny gambling problems. Sam moreso than Matt. So it happens that their company runs out of cash and tries everything to get money to keep things rolling. The gambling part doesn’t exactly work out and Matt falls into a hole. Their business goes down and both have to go parted ways. To make things even worse, one of their products gets ripped off by another, much bigger, company.
Pretty much on the bottom, with their dreams ruined, we see both of them trying to find a way through all of this. Every now and then we have scenes that bring the viewer closer to the characters. They talk about their fears and how they try to deal with them. Until Matt gets that one creative spark, that could change it all. Immediately he’s going after it and tries to catch that spark. He works very hard to get a prototype done, and when he got it, things start to roll. This is the fun part of the film. And no… it suddenly doesn’t all run smoothly to Matt’s and Sam’s favour. There still are some rocks to climb for them. Especially the money situation always throws them back. Matt’s wife Gina (Ayelet Zurer) comes into play. She left Matt earlier in the movie, as part of the downward spiral, because of his gambling. She tried to help him wherever possible. Matt disappointed her too many times. Now with that new idea and product, she wants to be on board. She gets together all possible cash she can muster up, and offers it to Matt and Sam, under the condition that she will be a part of the team. Matt and Sam have no other choice than to agree. Together they go on to get their product out into the world.
At that point it’s fair to say that all the actors have a nice chemistry going. All the scenes have a very natural feel. There isn’t too much ‘hollywood’ in this movie, even if it got its happy end. You see characters suffer. You see chacaters fail. On the other hand the movie also generates a lot of funny situations and has some good humour going. Knowing people who run their own business, I can relate to the problems these guys run into. There are times that are a constant shuffle and then there are times where things pick up a bit again. Ups and downs.
Some parts of the movie feel a little rushed and the ending felt adequate but a little too soon. Once their business picked up, we don’t get to see much of the aftermath. I would have liked to see how they managed to land the one or another big deal. But maybe that would have made the movie’s running time too long. So yes, there are pros and contras to everything. You could also argue that this story, of people overcoming business problems and rising to the top, isn’t a new one. And yes, you are right. If it’s done in such a charming way, with such charismatic actors and characters, it just works though. These are the stories that spread hope. They tell and inspire you to not give up on your ideas and dreams, as long as you are willing to work for them. And while these sayings are an old hat… they still are true. And this movie captures exactly that truth of no pain no gain, in a really nice and charming way.
A 7.9/10 from me.
So, if you like what you’ve read, applaud the production for its efforts to stay independent or you’re just interested in the subject matter, head to the kickstarter page and show some support, to help the movie getting a proper release. It surely deserves it.