Title: Back in the Day
Director: Michael Rosenbaum
Starring: Michael Rosenbaum, Morena Baccarin, Harland Williams, Krisoffer Polaha, Isaiah Mustafa, Nick Swardson
I just finished watching “Back in the Day”, a new indie movie written and directed by Michael Rosenbaum, who also starred in it and was the executive producer. This is a sweet story about Jim, who is trying unsuccessfully to be an actor in Hollywood, and his attempt to recapture some of his youth and maybe find the meaning of happiness by returning to his small town in Indiana for a class reunion. While the ensuing madness is littered with potty humor, I still connected with the story, perhaps because it could have been the small town I grew up in.
After arriving in Newburgh, Jim immediately falls back in with his group of high school buddies and they revert to their old selves, getting drunk, getting revenge for old grievances, and maybe falling back in love. The group, including Jim’s former lover, Lori, soon revolves around Jim who held it together back in the day. But life has moved on and we soon find everyone’s life turned upside down by Jim’s return.
Rosenbaum did a fine job on his first foray into writing and directing a full-length movie. The story is solid. The scenery around his home town is beautiful and used to good effect. The music from the late ’80’s is fitting.
Perhaps because Rosenbaum was writing about his actual friends, the characters feel authentic and we are able to relate to them as real people. His town rallied around him and almost all of the movie was filmed there on location. The modest homes were real, as was the bar where they hang out, and the high school where the reunion dance is held. I remember the same kind of people and places from my own teen-age years. I was comfortable with this movie and enjoyed it tremendously. If you wait through the credits, there is a memorial to the actual Skunk (Jon Snyder), who passed away a few months ago, as well as a recent photo of Rosenbaum and his high school buddies.
I met Rosenbaum and Mustafa briefly in January at Echoes of Hope‘s annual Luc Robitaille Celebrity Shootout, where they both played on the same team for the benefit hockey game. While there wasn’t time for an interview about the movie, they were joking around about it afterwards. The camaraderie between them was apparent and really came through in the movie. Rosenbaum also supports Ronald McDonald House in Seattle.
If you are looking for a feel-good comedy, albeit a bit on the raunchy side, I would recommend renting “Back in the Day”. You can rent it from the iTunes Store.
Copyright 2014 Ramona Ridgewell. All rights reserved.