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DVD Review: Back in the Day

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Back in the Day

Rating:
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Michael (Smallville, Urban Legend) Rosenbaum writes, directs, and stars in this heartfelt yet messy comedy that is part nostalgia, part romance, and part slapstick. The plot is relatively simple, as it should be for a directorial debut, but the lack of complex plot threads doesn't keep the actors from shining in their respective important yet often-times stereotypical roles. When an actor leaves Hollywood to join up with his buddies for a high school reunion, the past comes back, the future seems less important, and old friendships, rivalries, and most importantly, flames are reignited.

The always beautiful Morena (Firefly, V) Baccarin plays a lost love on the eve of her nuptials to another man, and a slew of other various has-beens and up-and-comers lend their quirkiness to what becomes an increasingly stronger ensemble cast as the events unfold in a predictable, yet satisfying fashion. Nick Swardson, Emma Caulfield, Danielle Bisutti, Jay R. Ferguson, Richard Marx, Mikaela Hoover, Kristoffer Poloha, Mike Hagerty, Andrea Bogart, Isaiah Mustafa, and Angie Kramer are unfortunately brought down by almost every scene in which they share with actor Harland (Dumb and Dumber, Half Baked) Williams. His special brand of humor overshadows some pretty key moments in an otherwise enjoyable film.

This is essentially an R-rated made-for-TV movie with a little bit more class in some areas and a little bit more trash in some. Props to Rosenbaum for not making himself into a larger-than-life celebrity type of male lead. And he showed a lot of restraint in terms of the ending, which was somewhat surprising when the credits rolled. A lesser director would have given the fairy tale finale. And though this movie is far from perfect, it ended up being quite an impressive debut. It will be interesting to see Rosenbaum's inevitable follow-up film. Hopefully there is more drama in the next entry and a lot less potty humor.

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