After the historic forest fires of Texas in 1988, the rural countryside needs help fixing their back roads. So after the initial infrastructure is complete, Alvin (Paul Rudd) is contracted in the summer months to be a line painter with the help of his girlfriends younger brother (Emile Hirsch). Though these two are polar opposites and annoy the hell out of each other, they grow to understand one another when their lives hit a rough patch.
Anyone with half a brain could see how this whole story was going to play out. Alvin was just miserable the whole time and was so cliche it made you depressed just looking at him. Not to mention Lance, the stereotypical horny 20-something burnout whose low self-esteem lures him to high school girls. Both of these characters were so poorly written and over the top you couldn’t even play along with the charade.
The goal of the movie was simple, with the intention to develop these two pitiful souls into something special. What ended up happening was they took too much time pealing back their layers, when the onions were translucent to begin with. After this time was wasted, they made it up by rushing through the actual storyline and maturing process of the characters and left everything unfinished.
Another minor fault was the painful obvious attempt to make this an artsy indie comedy. We don’t need the panning shots, dreamlike sequences, and stills just give us what we came to see. David Gordon Green, the director, should stick to what he is good at and give us more fast paced and vulgar comedies and stay away from this genre.
It wasn’t unwatchable as there were a few funny scenes when the characters let loose and became the actors we know and love, but this was very short lived. The local moonshine man really stole the show in my eyes, and was the only refreshing character of the whole film. In the end, most would expect a goofy, dark, or at least cute comedy with these loveable actors, but you end up hitting roadblock after roadblock of mediocre proportions.