World Traveler.

World Traveler. – movie review

Chris Chang

Bart Freundlich, U.S., 2002

Cal (Billy Crudup) is having a premature midlife crisis. He abandons his beautiful wife and son to hit the road in a station wagon. Although an emotional fuckup, he’s blessed with a face that protects him like a guardian angel: no matter how far he falls, someone, usually an attractive woman, will pick him up. (Since he drinks constantly he falls often.) Director Bart Freundlich (The Myth of Fingerprints) has the right visual approach. Like the best postmodern writers, he strips down settings to match stripped-down psyches–not unlike those irritatingly watchable VW ads. Unfortunately, TV elegance is soon superseded by a simplistic, somewhat mean-spirited non-morality tale. Cal’s an asshole because his dad’s an asshole. When Cal tracks him down to determine the original deadbeat sin, Dad replies, “Because I wanted a better life.” Cal has an epiphany, but luckily for his family, not to mention the viewer, the film ends before we see them further debased. (now playing)

COPYRIGHT 2002 Film Society of Lincoln Center

COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group