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||IMDB Rating: 6.1/10 from 145 votes
||Release: 30 September 2011 (USA) /
||Director: Dave Boyle,
||Stars: Alexandra Anthony, Calpernia Addams, Chadd Stoops, Dan Bjornson, Di Quon, Eric M. Levy, Goh Nakamura, Josiah Polhemus, Joy Osmanski, Lynn Chen, Manuela Horn, Mary Cavett, Matthew Gallagher, Natalie Lander, Parry Shen
||Synopsis: San Francisco indie musician Goh Nakamura lives a life on the road, navigating friendships and relationships.
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Surrogate Valentine (2011)
An interesting if not commanding attempt to show a slice of life of a
promising young musician at a crossroads in his life. There are echoes
here are of the much better in other movies, including the really
special "I Am Not a Hipster" released 2012.
Here in rather nice black and white we have quiet (rather introverted)
guitarist and singer who is asked to help train a loud (rather
extroverted) actor who needs to pretend to play guitar in a scene. A
couple of love interests (girlfriends) come and go, and a weird,
incomplete friendship forms between the two male leads. On paper it
sounds pretty cool.
The problem (with the movie) is multi-fold. For one, this story only
goes so far. It's simple to the point of needed either depth of
expression or some layering and complexity (you know: a subplot). It
has neither. Sometimes it's even a little cursory (or confusing) as the
lead trots between cities for a brief this or that (a performance, a
talk). There are asides that don't quite matter (like a part about a
promoter who collects guns).
The lead actor (Goh Nakamura) is rather good, but he's so restrained
you don't totally get on board with his situation. The actor who is his
counterpoint (Chadd Stoops) is appropriately over the top, but not
completely convincing. The rest of the cast is fine to middling,
sometimes bordering on obviously amateur.
Yes, I know it's a low budget indie. If you want to lower your bar and
go along with the style as "necessary" to the genre, you might get more
out of it than I did. Or than is there. The nuances of the time, the
bits of Seattle and San Francisco in the backdrop, are not examined or
revealed or even enjoyed for simply being there. The idea of making it
in that world of renting studio time and performing half baked music
and performing on a shoestring is great stuff, but it's subdued here.
The meat of it is supposed to be the interaction between these two
opposite males, and it never quite connects and takes off.
In short, it's a okay movie with an okay premise and some okay talents.
That adds up to a watchable, gentle movie with a few strong moments. Is
that clear without being brutal?
Tags for Surrogate Valentine Full Movie
, Calpernia Addams
, Chadd Stoops
, Dan Bjornson
, Di Quon
, Eric M. Levy
, Goh Nakamura
, Josiah Polhemus
, Joy Osmanski
, Lynn Chen
, Manuela Horn
, Mary Cavett
, Matthew Gallagher
, Natalie Lander
, Parry Shen
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