Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

On this website, the FCU, we have a little spot for garbage movies, we have a spot for the hall of fame, we have little corner reserved for foreign movies as well as a small retro space for movies a couple of years old.  I’m thinking of adding two new spots though.  A Blaxploitation corner so that the ‘Superflys’ and ‘Coffee’s’ of the world can get their proper coverage and maybe a little spot called ‘Little independent films that you will never see and probably have no desire to see corner’.  I thought of this while watching director Aubrey Nealon’s ‘A Simple Curve’ which is actually a pretty good film.  The fact that ‘A Simple Curve’ is a good movie means absolutely nothing, and I’m starting to wonder how and why these movies even get funded.  Is ‘A Simple Curve’ a better film than say, ‘Ghost Rider’?  Oh by leaps and bounds.  But ‘Ghost Rider’ probably pulled in more loot in its first day, in one theater in Idaho, than a movie like ‘A Simple Curve’ will make in its lifetime of festival runs and eventual DVD release.  The only people who have seen this movie, or who will see this movie are friends and family of the people who made it, film critics like myself, film festival goers and the microscopic sub percentage of people who truly like films for something other than mindless escapism.  The one thing major thing that ‘A Simple Curve’ has accomplished is that it has shown the powers that make the big decisions that Aubrey Nealon can competently handle a camera, and will probably now be considered for the next big Rom Com starring Mandy Moore and Mathew McConaughey.


Ever wonder what happened to old Vietnam War draft dodgers?  No, neither have I, but it would appear that some of them set up shot in beautiful British Columbia, open eclectic wood working shops, raised families and some of them even became President of the United States!  Oh you stop now!  Caleb (Kris Lemche) is confused twenty-

something working with his ex-hippie dad Jim (Michael Hogan) in a woodworking shop.  Jim is wood purist while Caleb just wants to make enough money to keep food on the table.  Enter Matthew (Matt Craven) who used to be Jim’s homeboy as they dodged together, and both were vying for the affections of Jim’s late wife Margie back in the day to which they still have animosity towards each other.  Matthew seems to have taken a keen liking to Caleb and is offering him opportunities, though his motives are somewhat questionable.  Caleb’s confusion within himself grows as he has found a pretty young mother who he likes a lot, but is hesitant to make a commitment, because she is unsure of Caleb’s future.  soon things will come to a head for everyone involved as people try to come to terms with who they are.


If you’ve been fortunate to watch different kinds of films over the years, 5 minutes into ‘A Simple Curve’ you will know that is a character study.  It is not plot driven, say like father and son are working to ‘Save the Store’ and thus save the town, as the store is simply a dynamic playing a part in the father son relationship.  No sir, this is character driven and dialog driven and your like or dislike of such a movie will be if you give a damn about the characters, and it’s always nice if the characters can actually act.  Personally, I did like the characters, though Caleb was a bit of whiny bitch at times, at least you could see the source of his frustration.  And I did care about the outcome of the characters who all performed their roles quite admirably.


One thing though, And this is major SPOILER so you may want to skip to the next paragraph.  Jim has a secret to tell his son Caleb.  He tells of how some thirty years ago He, Matt and Marge were sitting in a teepee getting stoned while Matt was playing a tune on the guitar.  Jim would tell Caleb that would be the first time he and his mother would have sex, and no child really wants to hear that, especially considering that some other guy was in the room watching.  Jim would continue to say that after they finished up, he picked his accordion and he and Matt had a little jam session, until Matt crawled under the covers with Marge and enjoyed a little love action as well.  A horrified Caleb was disturbed about the threeway, but Jim assured him that Matt simply took his turn.  The point of this was Jim telling Caleb that Matt could very well be his dad since he was born nine months later.  Caleb simply goes nuts about the parental uncertainty.  Now, I understand how that may be disturbing not knowing who your dad is and all, but personally, I’d be more disturbed hearing about the train that these dudes just ran on my mother.  Sheesh!


‘A Simple Curve’ is one well directed, beautifully shot, well acted film that I think anyone would enjoy seeing if they gave it chance.  But I’m pretty sure it won’t get that chance because the powers that control things have determined that no one really wants to see these kinds of movies.  I’d like to have folks prove them wrong one day, and start going to movies that have just a little bit of substance, but I’m no gonna hold my breath on that one.

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