Movie Review:…Around

Sometimes we don’t wind up in the places we thought we would. And sometimes we wind up fitting in to places that we never saw ourselves.

around-picThose two ideas permeate …Around , a movie by writer and director David Spaltro. The film tells the story of a young man who, upon turning 18, moves out of his childhood New Jersey home, away from the mother who has never supported him and into New York City, where he starts attending film school. Done in by his own laziness, though, he finds himself unable to continue receiving the financial aid that has allowed him to keep a roof over his head as well as continue his classes. So he winds up on the streets, living in train stations and on street corners as he keeps going to class.

The story takes the main character on a variety of ups and downs, from finally getting a job to self-destructing under the weight of loaded glances from friends of a girl he’s attracted to but who doesn’t know he is – or later was – homeless. Your individual tolerance for such self-destructive behavior might vary, but that’s not the fault of Rob Evans, who plays Doyle. His laconic, but largely affected, world-weariness never comes off as stale or lazy. He completely sells each line of the film, grounding his character’s story in reality even as he once finds his foot is the only thing he can ever hit every time he aims for it.

around-pic-2The other actors in the film do great with their roles as well. Some of the characters fall mostly into stereotypes (the rebellious sister, the bitchy best-friend, the preternaturally wise black man) but the script gives the actors real stuff to work with and so they never wind up coming off as one-note as these sorts of archtypes sometimes do.

…Around probably won’t be playing at a theater near you but it will probably be showing up online for your viewing pleasure. When it does I’ll be sure to point to where you can watch it as I think it’s definitely worth checking out, largely because of Evans’ performance as the story’s central figure but also because of the solid writing by Spaltro, who gives his characters a more or less believable journey to embark on.