Sunday, August 30, 2009

Review: The Open Road

For reasons I don’t begin to understand, the distributors of The Open Road opted to open their low-key dramedy in Houston and a few other markets last Friday without bothering to screen it in advance for critics. Usually, such an under-the-wire release is a sure-fire indication that (a) the movie in question is a great big steaming turd, and (b) the distributor, well aware of this fact, wants to take the money and run. But here’s the thing: In this case, a lot of people who don’t usually see a lot of movies in theaters – i.e., folks in the 35-plus demographic -- might have been willing to shell out the shekels for first-run admission tickets if only they’d known what the movie was about, and who’s in it, and how engaging it is.

Don’t misunderstand: We’re not talking about the unwarranted dump of an indisputable instant classic. But we are talking about the mishandling of a good movie that, months from now, people will discover in the Redbox kiosk at their neighborhood grocery store, or the VOD schedule of their cable-TV service, and enjoy. And those people likely will think, “Wow, how did we miss this one? Did it open in theaters at all?” You can read my Variety review here.

No comments: