Eileen April Boylan, Ian Nelson
Dakota: I hate Kevin almost less than anybody, and his looks don’t make me vomit. So…he’s my boyfriend.
Dakota (Boylan) is a high school senior who has always had a special gift. When someone lies to her, she immediately knows the actual truth. Her awareness of how often everyone lies has made her generally annoyed with people. When her boyfriend’s best friend, Jonah (Nelson), comes back to town for a while, Dakota discovers an odd, yet fascinating, thing about him. It seems he never lies.
For the first 10 or so minutes of this movie, I wanted to turn it off. The characters were annoying, the attempts at comedy were failures, and the acting was poor. It gradually improved to a watchable level, but never to the level of something I’d want to see again.
The premise is an interesting one, and I liked how we get to see the truth behind people’s lies via subtitles, as though we were watching a movie in a foreign language. The execution just isn’t up to the level of the concept. Dakota’s boyfriend, Kevin (J.B. Ghuman Jr.), seems like he’s channeling Freddie Prinze Jr., but with a really (really!) bad haircut. He has a couple of funny lines, but mostly he’s just annoying. Ian Nelson isn’t much better as Jonah. Looking startlingly like a young Zach Galligan, he seems almost as dull and annoying as Kevin. Obviously the fact that he doesn’t lie differentiates him from other people, but that’s about all he’s got going for him.
There’s some interest generated in the idea that Dakota still doesn’t know if she can trust Jonah when he says he loves her because she’s started to doubt her own abilities. Kevin says he loves her, and she knows it’s a lie. Jonah says he loves her, and despite it appearing to be the truth, she’s still afraid to believe it. That kind of lack of self confidence is easy to identify with, and those moments of confusion for Dakota are the best of the movie, though they still could have been done better.
I know it’s an Indie movie, and production values will be a little lower than usual, but it still felt too amateurish. The acting, editing, and dialogue just weren’t up on a quality level. Good idea, poor execution.
Apparently SAT studying involves nothing but word analogies.
10 – 2 for some bad acting – .9 for bad directing/editing – 1 for unfunny attempts at comedy – .5 for annoying characters = 5.6