Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Movie with Abe: Brampton’s Own

Brampton’s Own
Directed by Michael Doneger
Released October 19, 2018

Regardless of where someone is from, there’s always a certain idea of “making it” that comes with getting out of that place and never looking back. Just as often, there are people who remain in one general area for the entirety of their lives, and for them, not as much changes. When one of the former type returns to the place that he or she has left behind, demonstrating success or at least progress towards it is important, and showing up without having accomplished much doesn’t lead to terribly positive interactions since any sense of superiority from having made it out of town is negated by the lack of anything to show for it.

Dustin (Alex Russell) is a minor league baseball player who spends every moment staying in shape so that he can finally get the call which will put him on a team and get him started on a series. As he approaches his thirtieth birthday, he realizes that a lot of time has passed waiting to get to that next step. Reluctantly, he returns back to his hometown of Brampton, where he finds his mother, Judy (Jean Smart), moving on with her life in a big way, and his high school girlfriend, Rachel (Rose McIver), in a new relationship that makes him question the choices he’s made and what could possibly come next for him.

This isn’t a new concept, and the fact that Dustin is obsessed with baseball is merely a variation on this format which involves someone who left coming back to find that no one is all too impressed with what he hasn’t made of himself in the time away. Billed as a “romantic drama,” this film takes predictable turns as Dustin eagerly reaches out to Rachel, not expecting her cold response based in no small part on the reason that their relationship ended in the first place, which was his laser-focused commitment to baseball above all else.

There’s some sweetness to be found in the brotherly relationship that Dustin develops with Cody (Carter Hastings), the much younger son of his mother’s new boyfriend, as he airs his frustrations with how no one understands how hard he’s tried to prepare for a productive life. Aside from that, much of this story seems tempered down, featuring some minimally colorful language but otherwise lacking much energy or true personality. McIver, who stars on “iZombie,” is always good, but this is among the most standard and uncreative of roles in the very same type of film.


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