Director/Writer: Sean Ackerman
Stars: Trevor Morgan, Rumer Willis and Robert Loggia
Preston (Trevor Morgan) is a star physicist who just graduated from college and is on his way to graduate school. At a party after commencement, he comes to the aid of Kate (Rumer Willis) who is having an argument with her boyfriend. They leave the party through a bathroom window, and Preston escorts Kate to her apartment. There she asks Preston if he would be up for driving her to her parent’s home–a barrier island in Florida. He initially finds the request odd, but relents after he finds out he can stay at the hotel her parents own. Once at the hotel Preston is immediately invited to visit John (Robert Loggia), Kate’s dying grandfather, at his house.
The meeting is awkward; John speaks of his impending death, what will happen to his property after he dies, how he has no money, and eventually speaks in riddles. Later that day at the hotel, Preston meets Kate’s parents. Initial pleasantries are ruined when Preston asks if John is the maternal or paternal grandfather. Kate leaves the table and her mother speaks to Preston in a confrontational tone. What follows is Preston’s & Kate’s journey to know each other, and Preston’s search for what mystery surrounds Kate’s family.
The story suffers from weak character motivations. The reasoning behind the central mystery is minimal when compared to the ramifications of its consequences. In other words, risking my job for a $1,000,000 may cause me to think, risking it for $100 isn’t worth it. Events and decisions seemed to happen more because the script said so rather than for valid reasons. Why did John talk in riddles? It may have been the first time he met Preston and there was no built trust, but why be so vague?
The film starts off strong with good character development doing a good job showing us the characters as opposed to telling us about them. But once Preston and Kate reach Florida the story begins to drag. After the initial awkwardness of meeting John and Kate’s parents the movie begins to focus on Preston & Kate’s courtship, and it feels like it stays there for a while. Then, almost from nowhere, it switches gears into mystery solving mode and the consequences of its solution.
The acting is hit and miss. Both Trevor Morgan and Robert Loggia do good jobs with their performances. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for Rumer Willis and Erin Dilly (Kate’s Mother). Rumer has potential, but is wooden. Erin seemed off at first, but then delivers a solid performance at the end during a critical moment.
The film, in the end, looks good but cannot overcome its weak story and overall average performances.
Grade = C-