Palo Alto (2007)
Four college freshman who have returned home for Thanksgiving break find that the old adage about absence making the heart grow fonder rings true in director Brad Leong's nostalgic comedy drama. Back home for the first time since they set out for college, a small group of lifelong friends realize just how much their small hometown really means to them as they reminisce about the days gone by, and make a few more memories before heading back to school.
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Critic Reviews for Palo Alto
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Audience Reviews for Palo Alto
Cast: Tom Arnold, Ben Savage, Aaron Ashmore, Eve Brent Ashe, Hailey Bright, Shoshana Bush, Christina DeRosa, Ryan Hansen, Robin Hines, Autumn Reeser, Justin Mentell, Johnny Lewis, Luka Apt, Elena Marinelli
Director: Brad Leong
Summary: A quartet of college freshmen comes home for the Thanksgiving holiday and finds their suburban hometown at once familiar yet drastically changed in this wistful indie tale set in Northern California. Student filmmakers Brad Leong, Tony Vallone and a crew of undergraduates shot the movie during their summer break.
My Thoughts: "I was surprised at how much this film made me laugh. I was sure it was going to be close to an 'American Pie' film, but it wasn't. Which is a good thing. Each of them come home and all, in the end, learn something new about themselves that matures them in a way. I loved the parts with the Grandmother. She was funny and very wise. The stories, all different as they go their separate ways, all mesh very well together. The movie is fun and a great summer indie feel good kinda flick."
Only 24 people have rated this so far, and that is a bit sad. This is a good movie. Yes, in many ways it is what you'd expect that high school->college coming of age story to be.
The difference is this movie doesn't force the stereotypes and certain elements, and just lets things be and tells what feels like an extremely authentic and real story.
There are a couple parts that seemed a bit much, but it didn't detract from the whole. I didn't feel like I had sat and watched a movie as much as listened to four people recounting their trip home over fall break.
Also, if you watch the "Lessons of Palo Alto" behind the scenes segment on the DVD and consider how this movie came about, and did so with an entire crew of high school kids, you should be even more impressed.
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