Middle of Nowhere



Toronto International Film Festival

"Middle of Nowhere" is one of those films that seems not to have skipped a single item on the "How To Make An Independent Movie" reference list found in the appendix, and yet remains almost completely lifeless.

The script is klunky and full of unconvincing "complications" that seek too earnestly (and too obviously) to hold our attention. When that doesn't work, many of the young actors, especially Anton Yelchin as spoiled rich kid cum pot dealer and the winsomely beautiful Willa Holland from TV's "The O.C.", playing the 15-year-old Taylor, self-consciously lay on the charm and cuteness, but to little lasting effect.

Director John Stockwell and screenwriter Michelle Morgan make a half-hearted stab at setting up a rich kids vs. local kids class conflict, but it doesn't take and is quickly dropped. Worst of all, the film's dialogue is totally inert and loaded with cliches. And yes, there's even a search by an adopted kid for his real birth mother thrown in, almost gratuitously, about two-thirds through the film.

Director: John Stockwell