Review: She’s in Portland (Santa Barbara Film Festival)

Title: She’s in Portland
MPAA Rating: Not Yet Rated
Director: Marc Carlini
Starring: Tommy Dewey, François Arnaud, Minka Kelly
Runtime: 1 hr 40 mins

What It Is: Two college friends Wes (Dewey) and Luke (Arnaud) have not seen each other in some time. Their lives have gone in different directions. Wes is highly successful working for a great job with and living at home with his daughter and loving wife Sarah (Kelly). Luke is trying to live his life as a music video editor in Los Angeles. When Wes runs into Luke’s “one that got away” at a college reunion he plans a trip to get them together and rekindle that flame.

What We Think: This film was a complete and utter surprise. I loved the relationship between the two main characters. Their bromance made the whole thing enjoyable. Some of the script decisions were questionable. I didn’t really like one or two things that went down but it did not hurt the film overall. Most of the dialogue was funny and seemed very…authentic. Like this is how myself and my amigos would speak to one and other. You definitely get a sense that writers Patrick Alexander, and Marc Carlini are channeling some personal experiences here.

Our Grade: B+, I really liked this and it was a total surprise. Even though the decisions here that don’t feel like real-life affect the character negatively they don’t turn you sour on them. An excellent job by Carlini and a film that if you can find it is totally worth checking out. It was interesting to see Minka Kelly in this one. It’s always a pleasure when she pops up in something. Santa Barbara is a festival that’s always chock full of surprisingly good films. This is for sure another one of those hidden gems.