Americano Release Date: 2005 Genre: Comedy | Romance Director(s): Kevin Noland Writer(s): Kevin Noland Starring: Joshua Jackson, Leonor Varela, Dennis Hopper, Timm Sharp Ohhh intentionally plotless independent films. How I loathe you. And yes, Americano is more of an independent film than anything that is even closely associated with the term direct-to-video. In fact, it […]

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Americano
Release Date: 2005
Genre: Comedy | Romance
Director(s): Kevin Noland
Writer(s): Kevin Noland
Starring: Joshua Jackson, Leonor Varela, Dennis Hopper, Timm Sharp

Ohhh intentionally plotless independent films. How I loathe you.

And yes, Americano is more of an independent film than anything that is even closely associated with the term direct-to-video. In fact, it technically isn’t even a direct-to-video film. Likely in order to fulfill some sort of contractual obligation, Americano was released into ONE tiny New York City theater just four days before its U.S. video release. According to the review over at Uncle Scoopy’s Movie House, the promotion for the film’s opening could easily be compared to a “For Sale – Used Foosball Table” ad in your local newspaper’s classified section, as the only advertisement that could be found for the film was miniscule and did not even touch upon the plot or its stars.

A trio of college students, the single Chris McKinley (Jackson) and the dating Michelle and Ryan (Sharp, of “Undeclared” fame) are on the last leg of their European vacation. They only have three days left, and they eventually intend to end things with a bang by participating in Spain’s annual Fiesta de San Fermin (Running of the Bulls). While the cracks in Michelle and Ryan’s relationship become more and more clear, the relationship between Chris and Adela (Varela), a young Spanish woman he meets the Americano bar after his bag is stolen, flourishes. All four have inner conflicts that they are forced to come to terms with, with the biggest one being Chris’ reluctance to go back to a corporate job that suffocates him. Acting as a slight diversion from the overwhelming angst is Dennis Hopper, who shows up briefly to act insane as only Hopper can.

Even though it’s all together uninteresting, and thus not recommended, Americano is not a total dud. Joshua Jackson and Leonor Varela give excellent performances and both look good doing it. The scenery is rich and vibrant, with first-time writer / director Kevin Noland taking full advantage of the lush landscape that surrounded him in Spain. It’s a shame he didn’t have the budget that would’ve allowed him to avoid the technical errors that often get in the way though. And there are times when the film has so much energy that it’s actually fun.

Yes, I get it. There are metaphors behind the movie about finding yourself that are supposed to make up for its total lack of plot. Sure, that may work for the large contingent of Hemingway-reading, twenty-four year old latte drinkers out there, but I don’t read, so you have to give me something else.
DVD: A making of featurette and some information on the film’s music.

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Americano, 5.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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