North Beach

"Extraordinary"

North Beach Review


As we've seen in several recent Clerks knock-offs, doing nothing isn't anywhere as entertaining as we've all thought. Starting out with damn near no plot, almost no point, and a collection of bizarre characters and ending up with a funny movie that keeps your attention for a good hour and a half just can't be done in Hollywood style. So when I find myself watching a film like North Beach, which proves its tagline of "Once in a while, a movie comes along that defines a generation. Let's hope to God this ain't it," quite effectively, I can't help but enjoy it.

North Beach centers (as much as a movie that wanders its way through its story can center) around Tyler (Casey Peterson), a denizen of North Beach, San Francisco who happens to have made the mistake of sleeping with a 19-year-old stripper from New Orleans. Slacker movie that North Beach is, no matter where Tyler goes, everyone knows about this before he tells them... including his girlfriend. The inevitable result is that Tyler spends all day in frantic attempts to win his girlfriend back and manage whatever else pops up in his slacker life.

As clichéd as the plot sounds (I mean, let's face it, this is the same deal as every slacker film), North Beach has the rare panache required to pull it off. Casey Peterson, who also wrote and produced the film, provides just the right combination of multidimensional characters, witty dialogue, and insanity to make North Beach work, and North Beach does work... in most ways.

Co-directors Jed Mortenson and Richard Speight Jr. are proficient in their craft despite this being their first time in the chair, and the cast works together like a well-oiled machine. At times North Beach pushes it a little too over-the-top. Just like the Redbank Trilogy or Dazed and Confused, North Beach finds itself more than once in a situation that's just a little too surreal for a slacker comedy, and for that moment it losses its charm.

But such moments are fleeting. For the most part, North Beach is simply a highly entertaining comedy with few flaws other than its level of realism. And hey, as everyone who flames me is so fond of saying, it is only a movie.

Life's a Beach.



North Beach

Facts and Figures

Run time: 78 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 7th June 2000

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

IMDB: 5.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: , Richard Speight Jr.

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