In Theaters: Saturday 27th January 2007
Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5
IMDB: 5.3 / 10
Director: Matthew Nourse
Producer: Melanie A. Capacia, Matthew Nourse, Thomas J. Rasera
Screenwriter: Matthew Nourse
The star slacker here is Eddy (Ryan Donowho), a scruffy but good-looking and charismatic mystery man who deserted his friends and disappeared a year ago after a tragic "accident" took the life of his good friend. What actually happened, and what Eddy's role in it was, is never explained, and while such vagueness could be interpreted as manipulative, it actually works well here, creating a backdrop of tension that never dissipates.
When Eddy suddenly shows up broke and looking for a couch to sleep on, his old friend Barron (Mark Gregg) looks almost physically ill when he sees him and very reluctantly lets him crash. "I can't believe you came back here, man," is a typical refrain. Barron's dancer girlfriend, the icy Farah (Susan Highsmith), is even more put off by the aimless Eddy, although you can easily see the sexual sparks flying almost instantly. Rounding out the group is Chelsea (Dominique Swain), a frustrated artist and former girlfriend of Eddy who has moved on and is none too pleased to find Eddy coming around again, especially since she has a new and sophisticated boyfriend (indie prince James Duval) on her arm.
The small Southern California town (somewhere near San Diego) doesn't seem big enough to contain all the agita that Eddy creates merely by returning. He causes bar fights, screaming matches, breakups, and embarrassments merely by walking the streets. Writer/director Matthew Nourse handles all this with a delicate hand. Though Eddy doesn't really say much and has an "I'm just some guy" attitude, he's also keenly aware of the vibes he's putting out and how they are shaking up everyone around him. Donowho, whose career has consisted mainly of dreamy teen roles, vaults into maturity by making the most of his well-written part. Is Eddy shuffling down the street to the coffee shop, or is he swaggering? Both, actually, and that's a tough trick to pull off. Swain is equally good and like Donowho can be taken seriously as an adult actress here. Good for her.
Which one's the Pacific?