This was not a good film.
It's hard to see any effort in the film. There's no comedy to speak of, no real drama and, worst of all.
It's easily one of the freshest, sharpest and most enjoyable films of this year.
These "slice of life", realist drama-comedies are far from my favorite genre, but as a serious movie buff, I've seen tens of them over the years, and Standing Still is right up there with the best of them.The only flaw I can find, really, is the title, which is a bit enigmatic (not that I mind enigmas, but it's a bit out of context here). A better title would have been "Secrets", or even "Shuffle" if something less obvious was desired, as the plot is focused on an event--a wedding--that brings a wide range of people together, some unexpected, almost all with some kind of secret, and reshuffles them in various ways--often through revelations of their secrets.Realist movies can easily become unfocused or boring--after all, that's true of most folks' lives if we were to follow them around with a video camera and expect people who don't know them to be entertained watching the results. But Standing Still manages to create suspense, tension and a healthy dose of humor while expertly weaving together a large number of threads, all while keeping things fairly firmly in realist territory and providing satisfactory resolutions. It's also emotionally satisfying and relatively "deep", often in subtle ways, all aided by the fantastic performances. Everyone says just as much with subtle body language as they do via their dialogue, and this just as often occurs in what could tend to be read as the lighter or shallower scenes.I wanted to see far more about every one of these characters--and we could hardly call that a flaw.
An amazing cast (impressive that the director got them all to do this low-budget film) Great job by first time director Matthew Cole Weiss. Funny, enjoyable to watch and identifiable. Think any recent college grad would relate. Colin Hanks as the agent, Jon Abrahams as the forlorn and lovable "Pockets Malone" and Ethan Embry as Donavan Parker, the originator of Power TIme were a riot. James Van Derbek looked great and did an excellent job as the actor "Simon Blake". The girls are all beautiful. Even the supporting cast is impressive, (Xander Berkley & Roger Avery). I enjoyed the soundtrack as well. Kudos to Weiss and the producers for this impressive little film.
Watching this film reminded me of what it was like to be sick on a Sunday and the only channel that works is Lifetime. The dialogue is lame and predictable. There is little or no authenticity to the characters emotional discoveries. Surprisingly, James VanderBeek brought a lot to his character's role but his screen time was comparable to Christopher Walken's in True Romance. It was like watching the Family Stone minus the funny improvisational parts and extending the bad Hollywood movie parts. The actors may be good on their own but the direction and writing are to blame here. They throw in a pathetic lesbian scene and other moments that wouldn't have happened if this were to take place in real life but the screen writing class told them it is what the viewers want to see. There is also little or no attempt to hide how low budget this film was made for.
Saw this at a film festival in Vegas last year. You've seen the story before, but this ensemble cast does it better than most. From the opening scene, these characters are believable, funny, and very entertaining. I was only familiar with Mena Suvari & James Van Der Beek, but it's the "unknowns" who steal the show (especially Colin Hanks & Jon Abrahams). These guys are good enough to make you forget you're watching a low budget movie. My only gripe is with a dramatic scene at the end which fell a little flat, otherwise a great way to spend 90 minutes. It also doesn't hurt that Lauren German is VERY easy on the eyes. One of my favorite movies of 2005.