Rob Reviews "Mr. Roosevelt"
Writer/director/star Noel Wells’ “Mr. Roosevelt” is one of those films that appears to be aimed at the Generation Y/Millennial set, but it turns out that the Texas Feature Competition Presented by Panavision Winner at the 11th Dallas International Film Festival is much more than that. In it, Emily (Wells) is a young woman pursuing her post-college dreams of being a comedic actress in Los Angeles. When she gets a call of one of her loved ones falling ill, she returns to Austin, Texas to be there for them and ends up having to stay with her ex-boyfriend whom she broke up with long distance (Nick Thune) in the house they used to share that is now shared with his new girlfriend (Britt Lower) while being helped through it all by a new friend named Jen (Daniella Pineda).
While this tale is full of trying-to-figure-it-all-out-with-a-21st-century-sensibilities, “Mr. Roosevelt” is also a film that a mid-forties old man like me could identify with as well. I have said for years that we spend our twenties trying to figure it all out and then hit our thirties and just decide to live our lives, and the former of that was something I really connected with in this film. Although some of Emily’s behaviors and tendencies we all hope we have not exhibited in that time frame, there is a greater than zero chance that we have had at least a small part of it. Add to that the dynamic of having to not only deal with a past love but with their new love and the universality of its themes stretch just a little more.
And on this next point, understand that I have this verified by others that have seen this film as well. The visual style that Wells’ and cinematographer Dagmar Weaver-Madsen uses is very reminiscent of “Chasing Amy”. Now, the fact that Weaver-Madsen did work on a project with director Kevin Smith early in his career MAY have had something to do with it, but Wells’ influence by one of my leaders is also seen in a scene where she is going through a box of Emily’s old stuff and finds a “Clerks” hockey sweater, which solidified my opinion here. And by the way: if the production crew still has that hockey sweater and has no use for it, please let me know. I would give it a good home.
I am always on board with any project that is done in the state where I live, and “Mr. Roosevelt” is one of those that I am proud to tout as a great film with a serious heart at the middle of all of its intended (and hilarious) chaos.