Palo Alto (2007)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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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.
There are parts of this movie that are not believable; which is hard for a film trying to have a meaning behind it. But for the most part, it wasn't half bad. The cast was pretty decent. Ben Savage was pretty good. Wasn't too sure about Aaron Ashmore's performance. This is the same for Ryan Hansen. Maybe it is because the two acted together throughout the movie. Tom Arnold was a bit strange too. I really enjoyed the scenes with Justin Mentell, Autumn Reeser and Johnny Lewis. They all had pretty good emotional parts and had good acting skills. The meaning behind the movie is that sometimes you just have to open up and enjoy everything in life. You cannot just play one part. Each character had a certain personality that they stuck with when they got into college. It wasn't until they came back to their small home town that they realized, there is more to life. Pretty decent movie.
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