A 47 year old man picking up the pieces of his fractured life befriends an 11 year old girl and tries to guide her away from her potentially meaningless life by taking her on the ride of her life that neither will ever forget. They get more than they bargain for as they form an emotional bond that could potentially change both of their lives forever.
David Lamb (played by writer/director Ross Partridge) is experiencing a mid-life crisis. His dad dies early in the film, his marriage is over, and he’s having an affair with someone whom he admits he’s not in love. By chance, and the cruelness of preteen girls, David meets 11-year-old Tommie (Oona Laurence; Penny Dreadful, Broadway’s Matilda). Tommie is awkward and a bit gullible and does not get much affection from her parents. David sees that her life is lacking something special and possibly on a dead end path filled with emptiness, so he invites her into his mid-life crisis, takes her on an incredible eye-opening journey from Chicago to the Rockies, and shows her the world about which she had only dreamed.
While his actions are unmistakably illegal (despite Tommie’s willingness to run away, David is correct when he says he would be seen as a kidnapper) and borderline immoral at times (he lies a lot and tries to manipulate Tommie when she’s ready to throw on the brakes on their journey earlier than agreed upon), David seems to want the best for young Tommie while trying to prove to himself that he is a good man. Through their friendship, Tommie starts to look up to David as a surrogate father figure or maybe something more; the film doesn’t explicitly cross certain lines, but David and Tommie definitely feel some kind of love for each other by the end of the movie.
The film is largely carried by Partridge and Laurence; both of whom play their parts very well. Veteran actor Tom Bower (Die Hard 2) also appears as a friend of David’s family who provides a potential speed bump in their journey. The music and scenery featured in the film were a joy for the senses. There is probably some elements of this film that could be debated or viewed in a negative context. But it was an emotional story that is likely to leave an impression on any viewer by reminding us there is more to life than the day-to-day monotony; I will admit I got swept up in the journey and almost shed a tear during one or two scenes.
On DVD April 19.