Plot: What’s it about?
Eliza D’Amico (Hope Davis) thinks her marriage is stable enough, but then when she finds a love note addressed to her husband, her entire world seems to change. Unsure of where to turn, she consults her mother for advice, who tells her the best way to deal with the issue is to confront her husband, and learn the truth. Since that might not be the easiest thing for Eliza to do on her own, her parents, her sister, and her sister’s boyfriend all pile into the station wagon to join her on the journey to confront her husband. While the destination of the trip seems to be the most important aspect involved, this band of travelers learns more along the way than they had planned. The relationships between all the folks in the station wagon are explored, which opens new doors while closing others. In addition to learning about each other, this group also meets many new people and learns about them as well, so all manner of experience is witnessed. When they finally arrive to confront Eliza’s husband, will Eliza have the same mindset she’s had all along, or has she learned more about herself in the journey as well?
I am a huge of Parker Posey, so when I hear that Columbia was releasing The Daytrippers, I was excited by the news. I knew this was a low budget film that opened some eyes at festivals, but aside from that I knew very little about the movie. But since I liked several of the cast members and the storyline seemed interesting enough, I decided to spin the disc and reveal the results here. I had moderate expectations for the film, but I expected a top notch disc from Columbia, and I was let on one of those counts, but which one? While the film was worth my effort, Columbia has issued it in an inferior release here. While the transfer used here is an open matte of the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio so no image is lost, I still don’t see why a widescreen option was not offered. But more on the disappointed disc in the technical sections below. As far as the movie, I found it to be an effective movie and a worthwhile couple of hours. But I do feel my appreciation for the cast, especially Posey, carried the movie above the mediocrity the writing placed it in. But nonetheless, I recommend a rental on this one, and until Columbia can release a decent disc for this title, don’t add this to your personal collection.
This film was written and directed by Greg Mottola, who needs to thank his lucky stars he was given such a gifted cast to work with. While his material is not that bad, it’s not that good either and had his actors not turned in such terrific performances, this would have been a miserable film. Mottola is an inexperienced filmmaker though, so perhaps with time he can hone his craft a little more, and give his actors some great material to work with. While this film is filled with wonderful performances, I feel Parker Posey steals the show. Posey (The House Of Yes, Party Girl) is such a powerful actor, but she masks it under her charming good looks and charisma. This isn’t her best work, but she does shine here and steal her scenes without much trouble. Also giving solid turns here are Stanley Tucci (Big Night, The Impostors), Hope Davis (Mumford, Arlington Road), Anne Meara (Southie, Kiss of Death), and Pat McNamara (Fight Club, Sleepers). The supporting cast also includes Liev Schreiber (Scream 3, The Hurricane), Campbell Scott (The Love Letter, The Spanish Prisoner), and Andy Brown (Swingin’ In The Painter’s Room).
Video: How does it look?
The Daytrippers is presented in a 1.33:1 open matte transfer. While no image is lost here, I still would have liked a widescreen version of the film, since it was shot for the 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Aside from the aspect ratio issue, the image falls short of Columbia’s usual superb visual presentations. The colors look good with bright hues and no errors, and but flesh tones sometimes have a tinge of distortion to them. The contrast is solid, with complex shadows and good visible detail at all times. The compression seems to have the jitters though, as edge enhancement and pixel breakup is frequent.
Audio: How does it sound?
This is a dialogue driven film, so the included 2.0 track will take care of all the audio needs. The musical soundtrack is really the only element that uses the surrounds, and then even on a lower end scale. There is very little used outside of that, with even most effects being pumped through the front channels. As busy as it is, the front channel area is still distinct and clear, with dialogue sounding clean and distortion free.
Supplements: What are the extras?
You’ll find talent files for some of the cast members. There’s also a theatrical trailer, but it’s not for this movie.