This was the first of the two features we saw at this year's Newport Beach Film Festival. We had just sat through two sets of really bad student shorts, so I was feeling a little discouraged. Jam really turned the day around, though. The film follows the interactions of a bunch of very different people who get stuck out on a country road for an afternoon due to a car crash. There's a cellist on her way to a concert, a father and son out on a road trip, a yuppie couple, a single dad with his kids, a pregnant lesbian couple, a bride on her way to her wedding with her two bridesmaids, a retired couple, and two bumbling criminals (who turn out to be the major comic relief). I think this movie really exemplified what I like about ensemble movies. None of the performances were truly outstanding but they combined (like Voltron) to produce something that surpassed its constituent parts. I think it's unlikely that Jam will make it to theaters, but if you happen upon it at the video store I'd say it's definitely worth renting.

Viewed: 4/21/2006 | Released: 3/31/2006 | Score: B

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