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A road trip film in which, yes, the characters may travel far, but it doesn’t seem they really grow or evolve that much.
Characters & Story
One day a young man named Grantham (Jake T. Austin) ends up in a juvenile corrections facility and catches the eye of an elderly woman named Rose (Marla Gibbs). As for the reason why? Well, consider it originally just a hunch. But, there is something about that boy which draws Rose to him, to the point she becomes some sort of mentor to him.
Issues arise though when she decides to take him on an impromptu trip to Atlanta, Georgia, without authorization, and their close proximity forces them both to deal with issues which neither strongly want to address. Yet their connection, one which with time becomes clear, is the driving force of what keeps them together and ultimately what leads to what may be considered some sort of happy ending.
The kindest praise that can be given to this film is that you can see it could have had potential. For whether it is the mystery of why Rose is so invested in Grantham being laid out better, her backstory dealing with why she is invested being fleshed out more, as well as Grantham’s backstory from before he ended up in juvie, there is so much I personally wished they explored. Especially in terms of the character Wallis (Tessa Thompson) who could have potentially had value, but ultimately became just a shallow love interest.
This film, as a whole, mostly plays it safe. Something which became such an issue for me as I continued to really think about where this film could have went. For example, with Grantham’s character they could have gone further with his mom’s incapability to possibly properly raise him, they could have gone further in terms of showing the effect of his father not being around, and then comes the issue of what led him to be in juvie , as well as his time in the facility. For with part of his introduction including being called a faggot, you know that just because Rose stepped in doesn’t mean the bullying would stop.
Then, with Rose, being that she was homeless, fell in love with someone she couldn’t be with, on top of giving up her child, there is just such a well of things to address that making her some sassy old lady seems like a waste. Same goes with the character Wallis. For with her being a bit of a wanderer, recently having a miscarriage, and not fully developed, again there is this feeling of missed opportunities and the film rather touching on difficult topics than exploring them.
Overall: TV Viewing
This film, as I write this, becomes more and more frustrating to think about. Mostly because, at least with Thompson, and perhaps Gibbs, I fully believe they could have done some serious damage with their characters. However, instead, we get a very weak comedy, with a little spice of drama, to try to make these characters into some sort of three-dimensional figures. Of which, they neither find a way to grab hold of your feelings, consistently capture your attention, or really make you think about anything besides what could have been.
Things To Note
: They may have mentioned this, but sometimes I honestly found myself so distracted by things which could better, and more consistently, catch my interest, that this tidbit of information I cannot recall.