“So when you say something negative and insult the other person… You’re really just showing that other person what an unsure-of-yourself-type person that you really feel like you are.”
Alvin (Paul Rudd) is doing his girlfriend a favour and takes her brother Lance (Emile Hirsch) out to the countryside to do some work. They are repainting roads that were wrecked by a wildfire a while ago. The job is monotonous, time consuming and incredibly lonely. Lance is not interested in the job in the slightest and wishes for nothing more than to return to normality and go home to the city to be with his friends again as well as around other people.
Alvin, on the other hand, enjoys the solitude and loves his job and is using the time to learn a new language. He is trying to teach Lance a few things about life, responsibility and growing up, even though Lance does not seem susceptible to learning anything due to being incredibly set in his ways. The two do not see eye to eye but are stuck together until the weekend comes, a time where Lance decides to go into the city and Alvin decides to stay out and camp, taking total advantage of being alone, and continually writes letter to his girlfriend Meredith.
One weekend of partying in town and things are completely changed for Alvin and Lance. Lance does not get laid as he was hoping he would, and the two guys finally have something to communicate about. There is a truck driver (Lance LeGault) on the road that drops by them occasionally and has a drink or so with them. Lance cannot understand why Alvin is out in the sticks and not home with his sister, and why he always sends money back to Meredith, feeling that she is taking advantage of Alvin. Alvin will not hear anything bad about Meredith. However, she writes a letter and everything changes.
Alvin is angry with Meredith for leaving him, and takes it out on Lance. Lance is not the brightest tool in the shed, and responds bitterly and angrily, which is not the best thing to be able to have seeing as they are in the middle of nowhere, camping and working. Will Lance ever learn any of the lessons that Alvin is trying to teach him? Will Alvin ever realise that he, too, can learn from Lance, or will he remain pigheaded enough to think he knows it all? What will the two of them do now? Will either of them learn anything new?
I am going with a 5/10 here, whether people agree with me or not. I found this film to be incredibly long and incredibly tedious. I think there were a royal fiveminutes that managed to generate a smile from me. I felt like my time was wasted. I didn’t enjoy the story much at all, which was a pity seeing as the actors weren’t bad and I really wanted to like it. The only thing that carried the story the little bit that it went was Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch. I really, really didn’t like Lance’s character – he was a real tool and annoyance and superbly rude. His nice moments were few and far between, though Emile Hirsch was very well cast to carry him out. Paul Rudd’s portrayal of Alvin was actually really good as it goes out of his regular comfort zone, and he does it incredibly well. The settings were slow, the pace was non-existent, the story was weak and it was boring for me in so many places. There, I said it. I know some people praised it for being an alright comedy drama, but there was nothing that I was enamoured with (except maybe chasing someone with a wrench and throwing things at them). It almost felt like it was trying to go in a Napoleon Dynamite kind of way but missing the bus. I also really didn’t like the jittery camera work for this movie at the best of times though I really liked the sets they were working in. The conclusion was also incredibly sudden for me, and didn’t really explain much or wrap it up. I suppose there really are worse movies to watch in your precious free time, but after the many positive reviews I read about this I was not impressed.