29 Reasons to Run (2006)

I’m sick of road trip flicks, I’m sick of coming of age flicks, and with all due respect to our indie audience, I’m sick of movies about relationships with narration. “29 Reasons to Run,” however, completely made me re-think that thought process. I shouldn’t write off the road trip flick just yet. That would be unfair. Weeks’ and O’ Steen’s ambitious film raises the argument for the road trip flick and restores hope that there’s still a lot more to be done with the sub-genre. In some moments it can resemble an ABC drama, but I don’t hold that against it. “29 Reasons to Run” is about two men facing a dead end in their life, and decide they have to travel the road, which may be great for a novel “Sideways”?

In some ways it tends to resemble it, but with Weeks’ competent writing, O’ Steen’s good pacing and the lively acting, I was hooked from minute one. One of the pitfalls of creating a road trip movie is that the folks you’re centering on only have so much space to communicate, so you’d better have a damn good script to accompany the cast. But more so, you need good actors, and surprise, surprise: Weeks casts two very good actors to drive “29 Reasons to Run” home. While Waits and Weeks are fantastic, the stand out is Boyd who is both funny and complex as a former bully of our main character Peter who became his best friend.

Weeks, and Waits have a palpable chemistry and really do manage to hold the weight of the story on their shoulders with finesse. Waits’ is hilarious as the uptight Peter anxiously trying to re-start the life he wants in the midst of his dead end job, while Weeks is surprisingly very sympathetic as the slacker friend who helps him along. What “29 Reasons to Run” also chronicles is the journey of these two men who have to decide if they’re friends in life, or were friends in life. Can two people still remain friends in the midst of life’s changes?

The crew behind “29 Reasons to Run” sets down on a fascinating examination of growing up and sometimes growing apart, and I was entertained. However, “29 Reasons to Run” isn’t completely perfect. I mean, I can’t describe how hokey that karaoke scene was. It’s the only rime in the movie I exercised my forward finger, and hot damn was it a goofy sequence. Perhaps it looked like a good scene on page, but on screen it’s pretty damn flat without anything worthy of humor in there. Sure, it’s a tad cheesy, a tad sentimental, and a tad hokey, but overall, it’s a very good dramedy about life, love, and all that crap. Tight performances, great pacing, and a great story make “29 Reasons to Run” a worthy little gem.