AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL 2009
By Don Simpson | November 16, 2009
Director: Matt Bissonnette
Writer(s): Matt Bissonnette
Starring: Adam Scott, Joel Bissonnette, Robin Tunney, Gale Harold, Penelope Allen, Vitta Quinn, Mickey Cottrell
Michael (Adam Scott) is a frustrated writer living alone in Los Angeles. His younger brother, Tobey (Joel Bissonnette), needs to embark on a wild goose chase to find something; the problem is that his car is broken down, so he asks Michael to be his chauffeur. Tobey is a recovering drug addict, so most of his requests are greeted with suspicion by his older brother.
Michael eventually gives in to Tobey’s pleading, and their entire day is spent driving around Los Angeles (as well as out-lying areas) in Michael’s car. Every location that they stop at, Michael remains in the car and is frequently subjected to absurd events, as Tobey acquires another clue sending them to another location.
90% of the film takes place within the restricted confines of Michael’s car, with only the scenery around the car changing. In other words, this is an acting and dialogue-driven movie. Unfortunately for the Austin Film Festival-goers, the audio and video was horribly out-of-sync. For that reason, it is really difficult to judge Passenger Side on the merits (or lack thereof) of acting performances – even the dialogue itself seemed disjointed – so it is impossible to give the film a proper rating.