Get Adobe Flash player

“Carried Away” — Good Dose Of Life’s Ailments At Dallas Film Festival

April 12th, 2010 · Tags:Arts · Cities · Coffee Shops · Wi-Fi

A few days before the Dallas International Film Festival began, I met this dude in Starbucks in Fort Worth, over by the hospital district. We talked for a second or two and then I drove over to his car in the parking lot. Somehow, I was able to control my Toyota and stop it long enough for him to lean into the passenger’s side window.

He handed me the goods. The package was a tiny orange prescription meds bottle, with a normal looking “script” affixed to the outside. Man, I am so glad there were no hidden cameras, catching this deal go down on film. With a little imagination, under the right circumstances, this could have looked really, really bad. But luckily, I wasn’t hauled off to jail.

Ha … the tiny bottle of “drugs” contained breath mints, and the label was actually promotional information about a film called “Carried Away.” By mere chance, I had met the director, Tom Huckabee that day in Starbucks. He was doing an interview with another journalist, and I overheard. After they wrapped, I introduced myself and said I too would be covering the film festival.

Small world.

In addition to the controlled substance (just breath mints, I promise), Huckabee also gave me what looked like a very sketchy bootleg copy of the film, on a plain DVD disc — the name of the film, and the director’s phone number handwritten on the disc with a sharpie. We’re talking director’s cut, I guess you could say. (You have to love independent films … when the director is out representin …)

Well … who am I to argue with fate? I watched the film, in the comfort of my own movie cave, high on a sugary placebo from far too many breath mints.

Nice film. (And it has already taken home some impressive awards.)

“Carried Away”

I must confess, my initial expectations were low … since I met the director so casually. (Someone suggested he was actually stalking me and Starbucks was a sure bet, because it is where I mainline caffeine and Wi-Fi … That’s crazy talk.) Then the first roadtrip scenes takes the audience down the highway, within two blocks of the PingWi-Fi world headquarters … you even see the bell tower of my children’s old school. But, hey … long gone are the days when Texas film required apologies.

“Carried Away” is fun and pretty good. I mean who don’t love a whacked out, drug-dependent granny … especially if she is instrumental in the healing of her son and grandson’s strained relationship?

Mark Walters

I love irony as well. And I just gotta say, my private screening was teeming with coincidence. As I said, on the right day during filming, I probably could have hit the production team with a rock from my balcony. Second, I watched the film on the anniversary of the launch of the Titanic. (Who knows how I know this fact …) Stay on board with me … I will reel it in … The grandmother (Juli Erickson) sings a song to her grandson … all about the old, good ship Titanic in the film. I believe the odds of viewing that on Titanic day are 364-to-1.

"Carried Away" cast, Huckabee (r)

"Carried Away" cast, Huckabee (right)

The film — despite its humor — also takes issue with prejudice as the elderly woman uses the N-famous racial dialect of her day … albeit without malice. Rest assured her grandson chastises her for that one.

I won’t lie … I could have lived without the dorsal nudity of the elderly woman, but it added to her zaniness.

Bryan Massey, Adam Dietrich - "Carried Away"

Bryan Massey, Adam Dietrich

The story works, and the film is well done. The characters are believable, for the most part. Gabriel Horn doesn’t blow.  He does a nice job as the good-intentioned, confused grandson, “Ed Franklin.”

Another upper — the film team does a nice job painting a picture of the cross-country trip, with on-location shots in several states, even beyond this big one.

There is also a cameo by the North Texas band, The Theater Fire, who perform original music on the soundtrack.

The Theater Fire

While I won’t OD on negativity … I will say one member of the cast might have detracted from the sincerity a bit … In a nutshell, I thought his melodramatic portrayal would be more at home in dinner theater.

Anyway … a nice little slice of life — funny at times, sometimes sad .. And a roadtrip to boot! “Carried Away” takes home 5 pings on the 7-pings scale.

Know what I sayin?