The smells of an amazing feast waiting at the dinner table, as any one of our four heroines open their front door - and step into their glorious home. The always smiling mom, standing by the table with a smurf blue apron - serving spoon in hand awaiting that glorious meal. Pops emerges from the living room - some fancy newspaper in one hand and his reading glasses in the other. Smiling, of course, because everything is perfect. Perfect home, perfect school, smart and respectable boyfriend, great grades and amazing friends. What more could Ryan, or any of her friends ask for? It's the dream...
... just not this dream. For Ryan, Willy, Lana and Cherry that sort of reality is out of their grasp. For now - maybe forever. It really is a dream, created by those same folks who think Ward and June Cleaver, represent the majority of the families in our civilized world. What a crock. Right? You want to see how things really are? Take a gander at "Low Low" from writer, director Nick Richey. Although this film focuses on the less privileged populace, even those within the upper echelons of family life should take notice. That old term kids will be kids seems like such a ridiculous statement now days. As this film shows with an unflinching eye and some excellent performances.
"Low Low" follows four best friends at the end of their young adult life. Although the main focus seems to be on Ryan, it's only a slight inclination. As if Ryan is the doorway to this film and once opened, it's the gateway to the lives of the rest of the crew. For the ignorant among us, self imposed or genuine, this film really is a showcase featuring today's youth and how they live. The dramas, the dangers and the realities. There are a lot of threads involved here. From school, parties, sex and even abuse - no stone is left untouched. For many adults, some of the actions and behaviors of these kids may raise some eyebrows.
This isn't the "Leave It To Beaver" world we're trained to see. This is the real world. Where kids are forced into adult situations and the parents, are/can be part of the problem. "Low Low" is real. It's gritty - and it's damn entertaining. In an oh-shit, really sad kind of way. But there's more than the gloom and doom I've rambled about above. There is also hope - and it's this hope that makes the movie work. That little bit of light in the darkness and dirt. All visualized so freakin' well.
I'm not going to write about the technical elements of this film. There's no need. "Low Low" looks and sounds great. Much better than one would suspect, considering by film standards, this is a low budget production. It is safe to say that the look and feel of "Low Low" has been greatly upped by the performances. The cast is rather large so let me put it this way. Our four leading ladies are excellent. To the point you may wonder if this is a scripted drama at all? Maybe someone just followed this group around and filmed. Right? Can you imagine? Jokes aside, the talent doesn't stop with the main cast. The supporting actors not only hold their own, but match the leading ladies with absolutely no problems at all. I can't think of any character introduced in this film that felt wrong or out of place. Even the scuzzy ones. From the school principal who truly believes she can do good, to the alcoholic parent who really isn't a monster. "Low Low" features them all - in a remarkably believable way. A truly amazing feat.
At the end of the day, this was an excellent movie. I couldn't help but compare it to "The Breakfast Club" in terms of general feeling. "Low Low" is not just about school, and is obviously much more real - and even vulgar sometimes - but that overwhelming feel was there none the less. A coming of age story for the modern day, and one that doesn't flinch away from the ugly aspects of youth. Life isn't all sugar and rainbows, and this film not only keeps that in mind, but has no issues reminding us of it. Do yourself a solid and check this one out. Four and a half stars - and it's earned every one. "Low Low" is a film that even though I've now seen - I would still gladly buy a hard copy. Well done.