Friday, May 27, 2016

Review of The Trouble With Rain Feature Film

The Trouble With Rain
Rule 14 Pictures
Director: Mike Parker
Screenwriter: Nathan D. Owen
Run Time: 1:31

The Trouble With Rain is a film that covers different paths two relationships take between four friends: three different plotlines for the two couples, essentially the Butterfly Effect. When do you stay the storm, or decide to call it quits? Yet every action has a consequence.

I love local, indie films that are filmed around Middle Tennessee, and the open opportunity for locals to get to act as extras and get some film experience. I'm also excited that I got the opportunity to see it on the big screen: I got a ticket to the World Premiere at the Malco Cinema in Smyrna, Tennessee on May 16th, and the film is also going to air as an official selection during the Tributary Film Festival on July 17th in Sikeston, Missouri. This a directorial debut for Mike Parker (who also had a blink-and-you-miss-it cameo in the film, guaranteed to make you grin if you catch the reference), a celebrated local author and actor in the Middle Tennessee area, as well as a screenwriting debut for Nathan D. Owen (who also has a cameo in the film as Miller's brother Steve), who is usually in front of the camera as an actor as well. The subject matter continually grows darker and darker, with Eric at one point telling his wife Violet during a shouting argument that love is like a storm: you see the rain clouds, and the rain is refreshing at first, and then it becomes difficult to stand in, but you don't know if you're in the heart of the storm that's about to pass or the eye of it. But you stand firm. This leaves the viewers at the end with this thought: sometimes, trying to weather the storm can spell your downfall.

Uys and Sanner between takes on set

We open with a very dark scene: Miller pointing a gun at his wife Constance's head, demanding in a viscous fury, "Tell me what you want!" You don't realize it's not a question or demand, but mocking until later in the film (no spoilers!).

Nelson and Parker as Miller and Constance

A gunshot rings, and then, in a train station, we see a carefree Miller (Erik NelsonChosen Immortals, The Happy Catepillars, and You Became I: The War Within) jauntily enter and sit down. A young blond man, Eric (Adam SannerIn the Dark and Night Terrors) enters, who is sarcastic and witty, sitting down and starting small-talk with him. It's light-hearted, fun, and easy, a stark contrast to the opening scene. Constance (played by Valerie Jane Parker, a Nashville alum whose previous credits also include The Dust Storm) enters, all youthful effervescenct strawberry-blonde hair and a sweet fresh-faced smile that later dims, who charms the men unintentionally, and then the saucy, smart-alec Violet (Inge UysThe Gift and Empire Vampire) enters, who is hiding some emotional baggage. As the synopsis says: will these four young professionals become friends, lovers, or will they go their separate ways? The film focuses on actions, choices, and consequences, and how even the slightest interactions can affect the course of a life and those around you drastically. At first it's sweet and charming as the couples fall in love, and then, you begin to see the cracks in their relationships as they progress. The characters are deep and vulnerable with each other, and we see their flaws, deep enough to make you hate them momentarily, but then identify with them regardless, later.

Uys and Parker on the set

I enjoyed the rawness and vulnerability of each of the actors, and believed them in their roles. I felt the nerves, the happiness, the jitters, the friendships. It seemed very true to real life. My only complaint about this film is the ADR in the train station. There was a lot of echoing and noise, I wish that they had had the actors rerecord their lines because every time they went back to the train station scene, it was difficult to understand them. Parker stated on his personal Facebook page, “Things I learned while making an indie film: "You can't fix it in post. You can only make it suck less."” Which, more or less, is true! But I did enjoy the geek movie homages, like the the references to Back to the Future and Star Wars (awesome Easter Eggs, guys! Gave me a grin!). See if you catch them! I bet there were a few others I missed, though!

I'll post the link to the movie when it's licensed and uploaded for home viewing and internet streaming. In the mean time, you can visit the Facebook Page to see the Film Festival Schedule and see if it's going to show in your area!

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