. . . Around

Molly Ryman as Allyson and Rob Evans as Doyle in ". . . Around", David Spaltro's feature film directing debut.  Mr. Spaltro also wrote,
edited, produced and directed the film, which is angling for theatrical release sometime this year.  (Photo: Wandering Cut/Embrace The Fall)

Here And There, But Always Present
By Omar P.L. Moore/    SHARE
Friday, March 20, 2009

David Spaltro writes, edits, produces and directs ". . . Around", a smart and heartfelt film about a young man's struggle to keep a roof over his head at night as he goes to film school by day.  Largely autobiographical, " . . . Around" is based on Mr. Spaltro's personal journey -- he voluntarily left his living quarters with his mother in Jersey City, New Jersey to go to film school in New York City while sleeping in Penn Station and various other places in the Big Apple.  Rob Evans plays Doyle Simms, a guy with a breezy confidence that could be mistaken for cockiness.  Doyle, homeless and sleeping in Grand Central Terminal at night, scrapes together money from various jobs to better his living quarters and gets credit cards to pay for film school in New York City, where he finds his niche, and bumps into a few old friends.  Doyle ingratiates himself with Allyson (Molly Ryman), whom after an initially tense and inopportune meeting begins to warm to him.

Shot in New York City over 21 days in September 2007, ". . . Around" has a documentary feel as it chronicles the misadventures of a young Doyle in grade school in 1992 and his freewheeling adventures, which take him up into 2001, the starting point for the four years of Doyle's time at New York University Film School.  Doyle is a classic actor in his own film, which he is making as his thesis film for school.  He is also an actor in his own life and his impolitic childhood friend Logic (Marcel Torres) reminds him that the world is a place that can be unforgiving but without friendship even more so.  Mr. Evans supplies Doyle with a charm and wise, adventuresome disposition.  Doyle is a spontaneous young man whose bravado helps him to survive and thrive.  Mr. Evans' character looks a little like a dirty blonde edition of Edward Norton, and the narration by Doyle is in a style and cadence reminiscent of Mr. Norton's character in "Fight Club". 

The supporting cast of characters are well acted, including Ron Brice ("Fresh") as Saul, a homeless man.  Miss Ryman brings soul, precision and positive energy to Allyson.  The actress is always dialed in to her character's needs and expectations, providing purpose, warmth and empathy to Allyson.  Miss Ryman has a good future in acting if she continues to perform like this.  Mr. Torres brings quick wit and a razor-sharp philosophy to Logic, making him the best friend you sometimes wish you could avoid, all the while knowing that the words of wisdom he offers are truthful and indispensible.  Mr. Torres has an improvisational style and conviction as Logic that is natural and authentic.

Mr. Spaltro's feature film directing debut is a refreshingly adult endeavor, a confident, steady-handed progression of storytelling, enhanced by a screenplay that is tightly paced and structured.  ". . . Around" isn't necessarily about being homeless -- we are acquainted with Doyle's day-to-day living quarters -- it's about the quintessentially American belief in opportunity and that things can turn around for the better, in an evolutionary travel through life in the big city.  The wheels on this engaging, funny and entertaining film go round and round, and keep moving.

Make no mistake, as a film ". . . Around" is wonderfully appealing, sincere and triumphant.

With: Berenice Mosca.

". . . Around" has not yet been given a theatrical release -- it is hoped that the film will be released at some point this year.  It has been on the film festival circuit however, and is expected to continue there throughout 2009.  ". . . Around" contains some violence, language, sexuality and brief nudity.  The film's duration is one hour and 28 minutes.  In color and black and white.

Copyright The Popcorn Reel.  2009.  All Rights Reserved.

Related: ". . . Around" official website



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