Movie Review: ‘The 4th’

Review by Mark Merrell

Jamie (Andre Hyland, Popstar, Funnel, Stupidface) lives in Los Angles. It’s the Fourth of July, and he has planned a party, but things are not going as he had hoped. The movie begins with Jamie walking down the streets of LA carrying a bag of charcoal talking on his cellphone. He has a long walk back from the convenience store, and he’s trying to get a ride from his friend Scotty (Johnny Pemberton, 21 Jump Street, 22 Jump Street, Ant-Man).

Scotty isn’t able swing by, as he is busy with other things, and has to pick up their friend, Mark (Paul Erling Oyen, The Rooster, The Jesse Miller Show). Mark is flying in to Los Angles International Airport latter that afternoon.

Jamie finally makes his way to his apartment that he shares with his roommate, just as his girlfriend, Mia (Anna Lee Lawson, House, NCIS, The Wood) is headed to her job. As she leaves, Jamie realizes he left the lighter fluid for his recently purchased charcoal back at the convenience store. He grabs his roommate’s bike and peddles down the street. Soon, he is confronted by an angry motorist, as Jamie is riding down the road.

The pair nearly have a road rage incident, as no one seems to be communicating successfully with each other, an ongoing theme for the film.

Jamie gets to the store. He wants to take his bike inside, but the store owner won’t let him, so he takes it reluctantly out the door. Coming back to the counter, he explains that he already paid for the lighter fluid, but that he forgot it. Just then he sees it in a bag on the counter. The owner asks for a receipt, but he doesn’t have it, so he’s forced to buy it again. As he picks up the bag, he reaches in and finds the original receipt, but the owner doesn’t care.

Once outside, the road rage guy running over his bike, crunching it up under the wheels of his big truck before he drives off. Things keep cascading in the wrong direction for Jamie, as he is talking almost endlessly on his cellphone to his friends.

The film carries on with Jamie’s plight of misadventures. With so much going wrong, his misery becomes comedic. The movie brings together a very talented troupe of actors. However, the incessant dialogue never allows the movie or the audience to collectively catch its breath. Directed and written by Hyland, he provides a good script, and character development. The cinematography is well done. If constant dialogue works for you, give The 4th a try. For me, I found it distracting, as was the distance Jamie kept traveling to get to the store. He should have managed to get to San Diego in the same amount of time.

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