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Review By: Dan Deevy
If you had a 21 year old accountant, or a Doogie Howser style Doctor, it would be a definite cause for concern. A 21 year old director, on the other hand, making a movie about coming home for Thanksgiving break after the first semester of college - now that just makes good sense!
Palo Alto is an awesome movie which just Premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival to rave reviews from fans and critics alike. Set in the suburban town of, you guessed it, Palo Alto California, the film follows four friends all returning from their various college experiences back to a home that is at once familiar and also radically different.
The four lead characters couldnít be more different from one another and honestly I couldnít imagine casting a better group of guys to play them. No, itís not an assemblage of names that are going to jump out at you and guarantee huge box office or anything; but hell they donít need to! The passion that they had for this project, and just how well they all got along really came through on screen and is worth way more than dropping in someone with Ďname-above-the-title-credití just to have it.
Casting this group was an amazing coup for the first time filmmaking team of Brad Leong, Tony Vallone and Daniel Engelhardt. All three of them being Palo Alto boys themselves, not one of them more than 21 years old, they knew exactly what to look for in their actors to ensure that the authenticity on the page translated to the screen.
You canít plan for great chemistry, you canít create it in the editing room and you certainly canít buy it on a shoestring Indie film budget; you just have to be lucky enough to capture it on film when it happens. These are a bunch of guys that you could easily see hanging out on weekends, swapping stories and comparing bobbie legs (you have to see the movie, trust me itís worth it).
One of the greatest things about this movie is the subtlety with which the story is told. There are no grand Ďlife-begins-anewí revelations by the end; the lost have not been fond, the evil have not completely mended their ways and no one suddenly loses their virginity or finds their calling in life. Itís a fun, funny movie that introduces you to typical suburban