Sunday, June 12, 2011

Stealing a Volvo 240 Station Wagon: film review, "The Go-Getter"

In contrast to Ale's life on the margins in "Chop Shop," (see in a another blog entry), the 2007 independent film "The Go-Getter" paints the picture of west coast kids living in aimlessly and in angst.[1] High school senior Mercer (Lou Taylor Pucci) who recently witnessed the death of his mother, has just read Mark Twin in an AP English class and wants to journey on "the river." Impulsively he steals a 240 Volvo station wagon at a car wash in his small Oregon town and begins an odyssey to find his half brother, Arlen. Along the way he discovers that his brother is a no-good, and that humans generally disappoint. There is one exception, however. The owner of the car, Kate (Zooey Deschael), has left her cell phone in the car and begins to have an extended conversation with the young thief. She raises an important question; namely is "life random or fate?" Was Mercer's theft of the Volvo a totally random act, or is there a deeper meaning behind this crime? Mercer's trip takes him (and for a time a girl living in Fallon, Nevada that he once knew in Middle school) through such places as Shelter Cove, California; Reno, Nevada; the Mohave Desert; Los Angeles; and finally, Ensenada, Mexico, where he catches up with his half brother and Kate's love. Mercer's next stop is Pointe Coupe' Parish, Louisiana, where an aunt and two cousins live, but this time he has Kate along for the drive. In sum, the film is reflective of a generation’s fears and challenges, and the stolen car is a conveyance geographically and psychologically. In a way the old Volvo is nothing more than an appliance, so typical of the way this younger generation views automobiles in general.

[1] "The Go-Getter," DVD, Peace Arch Home Entertainment, 2008.

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