With the success of last year’s Star Trek, Chris Pine has become a hot commodity in Hollywood. So it should come as no surprise that the straight-to-DVD film, Small Town Saturday Night uses both “Chris Pine from Star Trek” and “original song ‘Someday Came Today’ by Chris Pine” as promotional tools on the DVD cover. In fact, since a straight to DVD release is never actually a good sign for a film, they might have been better off renaming the movie: Chris Pine Chris Pine just so people might actually go ahead and check it out. Find out if the film is even worth checking out after the jump:
Small Town Saturday Night follows the story of Rhett Ryan (Pine), an aspiring musician, as he spends his last day in the small town he grew up in before he heads to Nashville to follow his lifelong dream. His girlfriend, Samantha (Bre Blair) decides last minute that she wants to stay put for her daughter’s sake. Rhett must decide what he wants more: the woman he loves or the life he’s always dreamed of. Samantha’s ex (and father of her child) is the Sheriff (Shawn Christian) of the small town and spends the day trying to both keep his family intact and keep recently released ex-con, Donny (John Hawkes) from getting into anymore serious trouble. Meanwhile, Rhett’s younger brother, Les (Adam Hendershott) struggles with being the black sheep of the family and battles with his mother (Lin Shaye) about not being special enough.
Still awake? Congratulations. That’s more than I can say for this movie. Don’t get me wrong. I can appreciate a small-budget indie film…but Small Town Saturday Night is too cheesy and predictable for its own good. I can appreciate what writer/director/actor Ryan Craig was trying to do, in his salute to small towns all over America, but a little originality never hurt anyone. I’m also a fan of films that take place in a single day or a matter of hours. That is, when they’re done right (see: Dog Day Afternoon or Superbad). Just reading the synopsis above, you can easily figure out where this film will go and how things will turn out.
The acting is subpar and plays out more like a daytime soap opera. Chris Pine has moved onto bigger and better things, so naturally, you expect more from him when watching this film. Lin Shaye, who is best known for making out with a dog as Magda in There’s Something About Mary, should stick to comedy. John Hawkes (aka “Lennon” from the final season of Lost) and his scrawny frame seem like a miscast in the troubled ex-con role. In fact, the best acting from the entire film comes from little Martin Corcoran as Donny’s toddler son. The kid doesn’t speak a word in the entire film, but the expressions on his face as he watches his father get arrested on the hood of the car he sits in are surprisingly believable.
The film wraps up (and trust me, I’m not giving anything away here) with a ridiculous sing along at Rhett’s final performance in the town (video clip included below). Every character is present and watches with big smiles on their face, even Donny…in handcuffs. It’s the kind of ending you would expect to see at the end of a high school production of a Broadway musical . But hey, Chris Pine is singing and playing guitar! Chris Pine is in this movie! Chris Pine….Chris Pine!