Drift Movie Review
Ryan (Reggie Lee) is a Candian emigrant struggling as a screenwriter and working days in the least-patronized cafe in Los Angeles. He's apparently fallen out of love with his three-year boyfriend Joel (Greyson Dane), and just when things can't look any bleaker, he encounters a guy who has to be his soul mate, Leo (Jonathon Roessler). Not only is Leo a fellow expressionless, gay, Canadian writer living in L.A., he also loves budget horror films and thinks a love affair between a serial killer and a young boy is romantic. If these two aren't meant for each other, who is?
In short order, Ryan has dumped Joel and, within days, he's bedded the virgin Leo and the two are in love, leaving a blissful Leo happy enough to work on his novel about, of all things, a love affair between a serial killer and a young boy.
We see Ryan breaking up with Joel and hooking up once again with Leo. Only this time Ryan gets scared, leaving Leo crushed and sending Ryan back toward the arms of Joel... only Joel has already moved on to a new guy, another writer named Dane (T. Jerram Young).
Ryan breaks up with Joel again, and this time Leo won't have him. Now Leo likes Joel. And Ryan ends up with Dane. Ryan goes on a drive. The end.
Er, got all that? Quentin Lee's Drift tries desperately to be innovative by telling a love triangle from three angles, but unfortunately the story isn't mature enough to keep the audience's attention. His characters are universally shallow and confused, and while you might argue that that's what real people are like, that doesn't necessarily mean you should make a movie about them. Of course, at the same time, the characters are imbued with such bizarre fetishes and behave so irrationally (Leo first pages Ryan, whom he has just met, while he's masturbating) that it's impossible to take them seriously.
In short, I know so many struggling writers and artists that Ryan's poor life/love choices simply didn't generate any sympathy for me. It almost seems like Lee could feel this going in, so he upped the ante by giving him three sob stories to live out instead of just the one. The ending is a real non-event, tacked on and uninspiring.
This said, Lee has done amazing work on no budget and with the limited DV format. The string score is astounding, and his camerawork is impressive. The structural design is curious but doesn't add a whole lot to the film (and I wasn't all that impressed with similar structured films like Sliding Doors or Twice Upon a Yesterday). But in the end, it always comes down to the script, and this story just doesn't go the distance.
Let them drink coffee.