Way Off Broadway
Directed by Daniel Kay
Review by Eugene Kopman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I was fortunate to catch Way Off Broadway at the Westchester Film Festival. This is the directorial and writing feature film debut of Daniel Kay. He was able to raise the money and make the film on his own merits and gets major kudos from me, but now to the film.
The movie follows five friends, four guys and a girl, as they try to figure out life, love and maturity in New York City. Darren Michaels (Brad Beyer) is a skilled playwright trying to sell one of his plays and is currently in the middle of a writer's block. Rebecca Moscowitz (Morena Baccarin) is an aspiring actress who auditions for everything from Tree #2 in The Wizard of Oz to a lead in a movie by an acclaimed director. Jay Green (Forbes March) is the James Dean of the group; he is a cool, sexy guy who supposedly is a great guitar player. He is homeless and sleeps at a different friend's place every night. Mickey Cancoon (Michael Parducci) is a grad student at a film school. He is Rebecca's ex-boyfriend who is now a friend with benefits. And finally we have Ethan Willard (Jordan Gelber), a Columbia University grad student who sweats every time a girl asks a question in one of the classes that he teaches. The whole movie is about these five people trying to make something with their lives while learning something new about themselves and each other.
I'll be honest; the story is not the strong suit of this movie. A lot of the characters are cliché and John Hughes has done this concept before with his movies like The Breakfast Club. It is the writing and directing by Kay and the wonderful performances by the entire cast that make this film enjoyable. Kay's dialogue is witty, yet serious, and brings his characters to life. His direction is concrete; it was obvious that each shot had a point and a meaning behind it. Bayer and Baccarin have a great chemistry on screen. They work really well off each other and are solid as actors. March is given some great lines and he uses them well; he shows that Jay is not just a bum, but also a guy trying to figure out his life. Parducci and Gelber are the comic relief of this movie with some dialogue that makes you laugh not out of stupidity but because of good line delivery, their sense of timing and chemistry on screen. Dan Kay is currently traveling the country with the film and has already won some awards and hopes to pick up a distributor soon. If you have any film festivals near you, check if this film is playing; you won't be disappointed.
For more information, go to the Internet Movie Database:
Way Off Broadway (2001)