Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Passenger Side

The conventional cinematic road trip is given a dose of brotherly banter in Matt Bissonnette quietly irreverent Passenger Side. Opening with one of those early morning phone calls only a family member would dare to dial, Michael (Adam Scott) is forced from his bed and into his beaten up Beemer to unceremoniously chauffeur around his older brother Toby (Joel Bissonnette). Keeping schtum about his plans, Toby wears on the good graces of Michael as the two putter from pillar to post around Los Angeles; stopping every so often for Toby to disappear on an ‘errand’.

Of course as the genre goes, each stop becomes an opportunity for Bissonnette to reveal more about his brother, with a serious strain seeping through what seems at first your typical fraternal shit-stirring. Road trip films also allow for some great guest appearances, and Bissonnette doesn’t disappoint here either, with colourful characters of various shapes and, ahem, sizes, bursting their way into Michael’s BMW and through his sardonic demeanor.

Scott and Joel Bissonnette carry off the droll dialogue with an easy charm that surely speaks to the strength of their off screen friendship. The same must go for Matt Bissonnette's unassuming direction, which allows the organic scenes that he’s then coupled with a perfect, where-can-I-buy-this soundtrack. Comparisons have been made with Judd Apatow comedies and the indie hit Sideways, but Passenger Side stands its own as an intelligent and moving account of what it takes to be a brother: favours, fights and forgiveness.

Published by Street Press Australia
Screening TONIGHT at Possible Worlds

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