Directed by Ryan Jameson
A new kind of film hero emerged in the 90s: the overgrown child, a figure whose ability to feel more and dream bigger than adults made them simultaneously off-putting and endearing. The suburbs, which seem to only be the right size for small children and doting parents, are a perfect foil for these characters. Against such backgrounds, these Napoleon Dynamites seem all the more ridiculous…and heroic.
Now, twenty years into this seemingly exhausted genre emerges SUBURBANITE, a film that’s so fresh and disarmingly hilarious you would think it’s the first of its kind. Grice (Carlo Chavez) is a college-aged Filipino American desperately avoiding adulthood by scheming to open a hot dog cart, and by finally finishing an action movie “Drug Island” that he and his best friend Diggs (Jeff Jackson) had begun as children. That such a schemer could have a girlfriend is made all the more convincing by the fantastic deadpan performance of Mishka Balilty as the target of his pursuits.
The first feature film by young director Ryan Jameson, SUBURBANITE is everything you’d want a filmmaker’s debut to be: charming, honest, and confident in its unique voice. The film feels so hand-made and full of love you’d hope Jameson and his team were also running the projector and ripping your tickets. –Lev Kalman
Cast: Carlo Chavez, Jeff Jackson, Mishka Balilty