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Standing Still (R)

Release Date: April 21st, 2006 (AMC Empire 25) by Freestyle Releasing/Insomnia Entertainment.
The Cast: Jon Abrahams, Amy Adams, Roger Avery, Xander Berkeley, Ethan Embry, Adam Garcia, Lauren German, Colin Hanks, Melissa Sagemiller, Aaron Stanford, Mena Suvari, James Van Der Beek, Marnette Patterson, Nikki Schieler Ziering, Xander Berkeley.
Directed by Matthew Cole Weiss.

BASIC PREMISE: Before their wedding day, Elise (Adams) and Michael (Garcia) invite college friends for a four-year reunion party.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Standing Still has such an large cast of appealing actors having so much fun together, itís easy to forget the very predictable and derivative plot. Just think of The Big Chill with younger, one-dimensional characters, minus those great songs from the 60ís. Elise and Michael invite a variety of lively college friends to their big house, including the best man, Rich (Stanford), his girlfriend Samantha (Sagemiller), as well Lana (Suvari), Jennifer (German), Pockets (Abrahams), Quentin (Hanks), and Simon (Van Der Beek). Colin Hanks, Tom Hanksí son, gives the same kind of goofy performance he gave in Orange County. Ethan Embry provides most of the laughs as Donavan, who indirectly invites himself to the reunion. He has a crush on Lana, but they have very little chemistry together. Itís easy to believe that all of them are good friends, but any attempts for romance (even between Elise and Michael) comes across as contrived. It would have been more interesting if screenwriters Matthew Perniciaro and Timm Sharp were to use more imagination to show how they all became friends in college (or in some cases, lovers) in the first place That way, there would be more character development so that the characters change in some way. Or, at least, there could have been more conflicts other than Jennifer trying to rekindle her lesbian romance with Elise and Rich feeling unsure if he wants to marry Samantha. With the R-rating comes a little drug use, sex and nudityói.e. when Colin Hanks gets to show off some nudity while looking for a condom, but nothing at all like the nudity found in raunchy 80ís movies such as Porkyís or Bachelor Party(which starred Tom Hanks, believe it or not). Unfortunately, Standing Still doesnít have any truly memorable characters or memorable laugh-out-loud scenes, but at least it manages to be mildly entertaining.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: Unfortunately, none.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Weak character development and not enough plot conflicts.


IN A NUTSHELL: Mildly entertaining with an appealing, lively cast, but often contrived and ultimately forgettable.


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