Saturday, August 09, 2008

Jake’s Corner by Jeff Santos

I had the opportunity to see Jake’s Corner at the opening of the Sacramento Film and Music Festival. I saw Jeff Santos and Richard Tyson (although he had short hair when we saw him and didn’t look quite as hefty as he appeared in the film). I guess seeing them isn’t a big deal since I’m not even the first person in the family to see them.

The acting was fine, the story and writing was a little (or not just a little) predictable and slow (not quiet as slow as The Station Agent, but also not quiet as good). The development of the story was particularly bad, but improved as it went. The characters were fun, but the story line didn’t take advantage of the subtelties (or potential subtelties) of the characters. The highlight of the movie (if you get beyond the story) is the series of character sketches of people living in Jake’s Corner. It would have been nice to dump more of the storyline and focus more on this strength. My favorite was the Bosnian bartender as Spencer (the boy) is teaching him to play Uno.

In all, it came somewhat close to representing Jake’s Corner (even though that wasn’t the intention): there was heavy drinking of bad beer, strange characters with strange habits, and pretty scenery. However, the cast was generally much younger than the actual residents and there was a lot more of them. Although, it was nice that they didn’t choose unrealistically good looking actors for this film. The down fall for the marketing success that I see is that it is a sentimental (read: sappy) story that features an overwhelmingly male-dominated cast. I’m kind of surprised it got a PG rating given the strong language and the ubiquitous drinking.

The credits gave special thanks to Jake and Sissy and “The Town of Jake’s Corner”. I don’t know where there is a “Town” of Jake’s Corner.

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