Drugs are bad, kids?
Keith (McCaul Lombardi) has just finished up his prison-stint and is now on house-arrest. However, he somehow gets it off and is able to roam free at his own caution, which is both a good thing, as well as bad. For one, he’s been trying to stay clean ever since getting out of the clink and not get back into the drug-game, but there’s barely any work out there for an ex-con like him, which makes it seem like the drug-game is the only job for him to get back into. So he spends basically a whole day, navigating through friends, former and future, while also trying to figure out what to do next with his life. Should he go back to the life of drugs? Or should he try to stay on the straight-and-narrow, where his life may still be in-danger, but may also keep him clean? Either option, it doesn’t look too good for Keith.
Writer/director Matthew Porterfield takes a very simple premise and does what exactly you expect of him to do with it: Give us the day in the life of someone who we’d probably never meet in our day-to-day lives and show us how they get by, or in ways, don’t. It’s easy and been done before and honestly, Sollers Point doesn’t quite do much to really change up that formula we’ve seen many, many times before. The only difference is that it’s about a former drug-dealer, who happens to be white? Oh, and he also lives in Baltimore, yet is mostly surrounded by a bunch of white wannabe-gangsters?
Yeah, it’s rather odd.
However, Sollers Point is always watchable, which I guess makes it better than I make it sound as being. The only issue is that the movie is so obviously about how awful life has turned out for this guy Keith and how, no matter where he goes, what he tries to do, or what he says, life will continuously keep on crapping on him and knocking him back to where he originally started. That’s a cynical view to take and it’s not necessarily wrong, either, but it’s also hard to really be compelled by a movie that takes this route for its story, time and time again. We care for Keith and people like him, however, it can be a rough task to keep up with whenever it seems like no matter what he does, he’ll always be right back at square one.
And for that, Sollers Point is a bit of a middling experience. It’s interesting to see where this meandering adventure takes Keith, the people he meets, and what they’re interactions with him have to say about who he was and his character, but it’s also a little predictable and obvious after awhile. We don’t know where the story is going, per se, but it’s easy to guess where and chances are, it ends up there. We get a few fun bits and pieces from the wannabe-gangsters who continuously mess with Keith, as well as the darker, slummier parts of his community, but these are just some small spots of shining light that come every so often.
Most of the time, it’s just Keith, driving around, looking for work, hooking up with random college girls, and talking to old family-members.
Fun times, indeed.
And as Keith, McCaul Lombardi is fine. His role isn’t really made for him to be stretching his limits as an actor, nor is it meant for him to be the most exciting presence up there on the screen – that’s usually written for those that he meets and those who surround him. Others like Jim Belushi, Zazie Beets, Tom Guiry, Lynn Cohen, and Marin Ireland all show up, bring something to the table and do what they can to help out Lombardi, but it’s a little too tiny to really register as anything memorable or great.
Sort of like Sollers Point, in a nutshell.
Consensus: Though it has a compelling quality to it, Sollers Point never fully gets going, feeling like a meandering exercise with not enough drive, or even anything interesting to say.
5.5 / 10
Photos Courtesy of: Oscilloscope Laboratories