This Journey Of Self-Discovery Goes Nowhere--And Not Fast En
K. Harris | Albuquerque, NM | 02/25/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not sure what compelled me to seek out "Americano," written and directed by Kevin Noland. It's not as if I was dying to check up on the career of Joshua Jackson, a star of TV's "Dawson's Creek." Perhaps I was intrigued by Dennis Hopper's inclusion in such a small scale production--I mean the man is always interesting even when his material is less than stellar. Here, however, the lure for him seems to have been his daughter Ruthanna, who has a supporting role and serves as a producer on this film. Maybe it was international star Leonor Varela, a beauty who is surely one good role away from making it big in America. Most likely, though, it was the idea of seeing the movie as a travelogue of Spain. With great scenery, bull fights, Hemingway, hard drinking and partying, the Running of the Bulls--the atmosphere alone might have made intriguing viewing.
However, I am going to be rather hard in my assessment of this film. I think Noland has talent and I look forward to other works. The film is photographed well and has good performances. My problem stems from the fact that there is absolutely no drama in this familiar coming-of-age story. With an astounding lack of real character insight, this little production about characters at a crossroads falls absolutely flat.
The setup is simple. As recent college graduates, Jackson and two pals (who bicker comically) are spending the last few days of their vacation in Spain before Jackson must return to the "real" world and a new job. Facing the eternal struggles between childhood and adulthood, work and independence, freedom and monotony, dreams and reality--Jackson falls into lust with a local played by Varela. Should he ditch it all for this worldwind romance? Should he abandon responsibility for a life of leisure? Should he stay in Spain? These are legitimate questions and a legitimate, albeit familiar, story path. What makes "Americano" so tedious and uninvolving, however, is that the film doesn't allow you to know its characters. A character study with no genuine character development seems a hard concept to pull off--and "Americano" doesn't succeed in doing anything remotely deeper than the superficial presentation of friends on vacation. We never know anything about Jackson's job or life in America, or his dreams, passions, interests, etc...aside from this fleeting romance. Sure, the film goes through the requisite motions--Jackson writes pretentious poetry and talks to statues of Hemingway, what else would you expect in Spain? If he has artistic aspirations, however, the screenplay surely never develops this. Lacking any real guidance as to what Jackson envisions for his life, I simply fell into the camp of "who cares?"
There are plenty of authentic moments in the depiction of Spanish culture. Dennis Hopper's role, however, as a club host is a complete misfire. Ultimately, though, my genuine disinterest in the film comes from a screenplay that asks me to care but never goes beneath the surface for emotional truth and character depth. Sure, Jackson's at a crossroads--but lacking any understanding of what he wants, it made no difference to me what he chose. Sorry, but that's a big problem when it is your film's central theme. KGHarris, 02/07."
Citi | USA | 04/18/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Great movie! First time I watched it in TV and I knew some day have to get it . Simple story,great soundtrack. 5 on 5"
Carmel Rundlett | 10/08/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Americano is a fun, fantastic movie!
Kevin Noland is a superb Writer and Director. The casting was perfect!
I would urge everyone to grab their own copy of the movie."