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PBIFF ’14 Review – “Cas & Dylan”

May 1, 2014

Screen shot 2014-05-01 at 8.30.40 PMI never knew that “Beverly Hills: 90210” star Jason Priestley wanted to direct, at the Q/A for his feature debut for “Cas & Dylan”, his heart has been set on direction since his 20s. “90210” producer Aaron Spelling gave Priestley that chance having direct an episode, ever since then Jason has gone on to direct countless TV shows, including the likes of “Satisfaction”, “Saving Hope”, and “The Secret Life of an American Teenager”.

Now making his theatrical feature debut in the form of a humanist story about a dying doctor and a wannabe writer, Priestley is on the road (pun intended) to finding that niche director’s voice.

Dr. Cas Pepper (Richard Dreyfuss) has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, plans to check out on his own terms, he plan; head west. However, his road trip takes a sudden detour when a reluctant 22-year-old girl inadvertently winds up on the lam with Cas. Dylan Morgan (Tatiana Maslany) is an anything but normal girl, whose dreams of becoming the greatest writer ever may be her weakest feature, but she makes up for it in her lively demeanor, and manages to bring something out of Cas he hasn’t had in ages…friendship.

For me, I love a good road comedy, and the film manages to borrow elements from other, more successful films of the genre; “Little Miss Sunshine”“Planes Trains & Automobiles”, and a dash of “Road Trip”. Being a 100% Canadian produced dramedy, the movie does manage to find it’s own voice, showing off the beautiful landscape of the the greater Canada.

But the thing that works best for this movie is the relationship between Cas & Dylan, and the casting of boy Dreyfuss and Ms. Maslany work hand in hand, for they have a dynamic chemistry that plays into the movies favors, which helps the viewer almost forget certain cliche moments. Richard finds a balance of hamming up his annoyance, while showing off a soft, nuanced side to his character, juxtaposing against Tatiana’s colorful Dylan, makes a mixture for wonderful dual character development.

By the time both parties their destination, the feeling of acceptance plays an important theme, and it’s handled gently. Unlike “Planes Trains & Automobiles” somewhat similar end, here we’re given greater closure form the black sheep character, the John Candy if you will. Sure, there are no such thing as a happy ending, but where one life ends, a new one begins, and sometimes it takes a special recipe to begin as a starting point for anew life.


Aaron Shore, is a contributing blogger for the film sites of Hudak on Hollywood & Midnight Reviews.

You can follow Aaron on Twitter @DoubleAAProd

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