On the Road

I haven't felt this soiled since "The Rum Diaries!" This tawdry, drug- riddled, chain-smoking mumble-fest is confusing; the geography makes my head spin; the orgies, the threesomes, the shoplifting and car stealing are NOT funny; while the reckless driving and the survival with no visible means of support just strike me as irresponsible, NOT as a juvenile lark!

Yes, Jack Kerouac's ground-breaking novel is back On the Road again. This time we have an R-rated, two-hour (mumbled) talkathon. We see:
  • Sam Riley ("Brighton Rock") as Sal Paradise/Jack Kerouac, a vaguely disengaged author in search of a story; he documents every move, every misdeed and every meal, but the sum total of all that labor is stultifyingly boring. (Yeah, that's probably not a word, but I don't care.)
  • Garrett Hedlund ("Country Strong") as Dean Moriarty/Neal Cassady is a good-looking omni-sexual legend who isn't above doing a little hooking to earn a ride.
  • Kristen Stewart ("Snow White and the Huntsman") as Mary- lou/LuAnne Henderson personifies one of the many women who are used and discarded like soiled tissues.
  • Amy Adams ("Trouble With the Curve") as Jane/Joan Vollmer lives at one of the many stops along the way. At least she can give marital tips to an unhappy young bride.
  • Tom Surridge ("Waiting For Forever") as Carlo Marx/Allen Ginsberg is a Beat poet and iconoclast, ultimately revered as the Grand Old Man of his generation. I'm afraid I was always too grounded to relate to his toked-up brand of philosophy.
  • Kirsten Dunst ("Melancholia") as Camille/Caroline Cassady who at least has sense enough to kick the guy out.
  • Viggo Mortensen ("A Dangerous Method") as Old Bull Lee/William S. Burroughs. Mortensen threatens to replace Sam Shepard as Hollywood's favorite grizzled curmudgeon.
As you can see, this story that gives birth to a book was confusing, repugnant and endless (124 minutes), but I was impressed once again by Garrett Hedlund. We will see more of this guy as time passes. He is handsome, appealing, has a wonderful body, AND he can act! This movie proves it. I did NOT like this movie, but Hedlund, even as a repugnant character, is very watchable.
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In case you want to see a preview:
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