Cash Crop...On the Money
(4 out of 5 stars)
"CASH CROP is an a nice, sweet, small film with subtle performances, humor, and drama that's not too over the top. The story is about struggling farmers in a rural community town in Pennsylvania that start growing and selling marijuana to make ends meet. Word gets around that there is a marijuana problem among the local high school kids, and an agent from the DEA (Mary McCormack) is dispatched to investigate the local farmers who she suspects of growing the "herb". She is aided by the local Sherriff (John Slattery) who may or may not know who is involved. He wants to do his job right, but at the same time, feels for the plight of the farmers (who have elected him to be Sheriff) and wants to give them the benefit of the doubt. Yet, has his suspicions. Also, one of the farmers involved (Jeffery Demunn) justifies his actions because he has to save his farm so it can be passed on to his son (Wil Horneff). However, the son has no intentions of being a farmer, but wants to be a musician. The twist is that the son is a non user even though a lot of his friends smoke pot. When he finds out his father is one growers, he takes it hard, but will not sell out his parents. The story is very low key and is very atmospheric of the small town locations and farming community. The characters are identifyable and the use of marijuana among the teen characters is not overblown, but typical of the kind of usage one would see in "anytown U.S.A". Advirtizing for this movie has been a little misleading. The film was touted as a vehicle for tv's DAWSON'S CREEK James Van Der Beek. However, he is actually in a minor role as one of the stoned out teens and a best friends of Wil Horneff's character. Also, the film is not a Cheech and Chong type drugged out type comedy. It is a very thought provoking dramedy with some very likable and interesting characters to care about. Good film overall!"
Not too bad....
(3 out of 5 stars)
"If you've seen the previews for this movie, you'd think it was a stoner comedy starring Dawson Creek. But as we all know, movie marketing isn't bound by truth in advertising laws. This movie is actually a drama about struggling farmers who turn to growing marijuana to survive. Much of the movie handles the subject in a neutral fashion, and that is when it's most affective. The plight of the farmers is realistic and handled well. The story of the farmers themselves and the investigation by a local sherrif and a DEA agent are the best parts of the film. Unfortunatley another key part of the film is a story about one of the farmer's son (Dawson Creek is in about three scenes as his stoner friend). The movie turns him into the bland moral voice of the film, and it loses the neutrality which was one of the film;s strenghts. The son objects to his parents growing pot not because he's afraid of their well being with the DEA sniffing around, but because he believes it's just a bad thing to do. His motivations are muddled because he's always hangin out with stoners (though he never smokes). While the film is not all out anti-marijuana propaganda, this certainly gives it a slant that it would be better off without. Also, all the users and dealers are depicted as complete jerks. A couple of the farmers are the only characters involved with pot that have any redeeming value whatsoever. They are just doing it to survive, but the film couldn't lend that even handedness and honesty to the other characters? Still, when it is neutral it is an engaging and interesting film worth renting if you're interested in the subject."