First time writer-director Dylan McCormack renders the characters of Four Lane Highway so plainly and with such connect-the-dot dilemmas that it is difficult to sympathize with them. Sean (Fred Weller), a repressed writer still caught up over his father’s criticism, takes off to New York City in search of his lost love, Molly (Greer Goodman), an art teacher who fled to the big city in order to let her pent-up talents blossom. In tow is his best friend, Lyle (Reg Rogers), another Oedipus case who feels guilty because of his father’s wealth.
Independent filmmaking should mean more than just low budgets and lesser-known actors. Film scholar Ray Carney has suggested it means independence from the formulas and conventions that Hollywood’s cinema perpetuates in staggering abundance. Many recent films that have been paraded as “independent,” from something as small as The Treatment to something as big as Little Miss Sunshine, are mainstream films in indie clothing — and Four Lane Highway is content to follow in this tradition. Translating the presumed-revelatory conversations of every recent high-school grad to thirty-somethings in a small town Maine, Four Lane Highway is just another coming-of-age story that comes 15 years too late.
Opens June 1