Roadie (Review)

(1/06/12; Drama)
Ron Eldard, Bobby Cannavale, Jill Hennessy, Lois Smith, Suzette Gunn
SCR: Gerald Cuesta, Michael Cuesta
DIR: Michael Cuesta
MPAA: R for pervasive language and some drug content.

Eldard is good as Jimmy Testagross, a longtime roadie for Blue Oyster Cult recently cut from the band. With no place to go, no job prospects, and no real skills outside of being a roadie, Jimmy returns to his childhood home in Queens, New York.

Now an aimless middle-aged man stuck in the past with his vinyl records, he reconnects with old crush Nikki (Hennessy), a budding singer now married to his high school nemesis Randy (Cannavale), a douchebag who calls him “Jimmy Testicles.”

As the day (and night) wears on, the trio ends up in a hotel room playing music and slipping back into the characters they played in school. As the drugs and lies continue to pile on, it’s only a matter of time before something break.

After a clumsy first act, Cuesta’s low-key character film hits a stride and breathes when it counts. Roadie is filled with people hobbled by paralyzing nostalgia through the prism of a rock and roll-fueled haze. Everyone knows someone stuck in their youth. Eldard, Cannavale and Hennessey make it painful, and that’s a compliment. (Magnolia)


Author: Dennis Willis

Dennis Willis is an award-winning producer, TV host, producer, director, editor (he preferred Avid until a torrid affair with Adobe Premiere, and the rest is history), author and film critic (print and radio). Dennis produced and hosted the TV programs Reel Life, FilmTrip, Soundwaves (1983-2008) and produces the annual Soundwaves Xmas program. He is currently the film critic on KGO Radio in San Francisco, and a member of both the San Francisco Film Critics Circle and the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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