A young man comes face to face with his past while learning to accept his new life in this indie drama from Charles Moore.
Denny Briggs arrives late for what he promises will be a one-time gig as a stand-up comedian. He decides to make the audience his jury as he is on trial. He first begins with talking about how he lied on his job application for a job at Miller’s Family Restaurant. Having gotten the job, he becomes close to the owners Lloyd and Linda, fellow waiter Shaun, cook Marcel, and prep cook Sarah. However, Denny’s new life will soon find its obstacle as the past comes back in the form of his sister Madison.
Having served a twenty-year sentence for the murder of their parents, Madison has made parole. As Madison adapts to life outside of prison, Denny adapts to his new surroundings as he grows closer to Sarah, who is a young single mom to Isabella. However, when Madison decides to go back to controlling Denny and forces a move to Chicago upon him, Denny finally learns that in order to move on with his life, he must face the past and confront it before he is ever to be happy.
This is quite an interesting indie drama that is told all in flashbacks from what we are led to believe to be a seven-minute comedy gig from the main character Denny, played by an excellent Milo Ventimiglia. Denny is truly conflicted with facing his past and coming to terms with the present. The 112-minute running time allows Ventimiglia to bring a variety of emotion to the role of Denny as he grows closer to the cast of characters who he works with and yet at the same time, feels a sense of obligation to his overprotective sister Madison, played by Amanda Aday, who is the daughter of music legend Meat Loaf.
Rachel Melvin’s Sarah brings to sense a possible romance that may be worth having for the troubled Denny while John Billingsley and Bonita Fredericy’s Lloyd and Linda serve as the parental figures Denny has yearned for all his life, especially when the events that lead up to Madison’s prison stint is revealed. While Denny himself is an aspiring comic with Lenny Bruce as inspiration, Matt Lockwood’s Shaun provides the comic relief of the film in terms of the developing story while Joshua Elijah Reese’s Mandel is the big brother-type who also helps Denny feel grounded and indirectly helps him with the issues he face.
The film does offer some twists to the story where you may expect one thing to happen, but end up getting something else. This may either get fans who expect something straightforward to go up in arms, but most will likely be intrigued with the twists, especially towards the third act of the film, where it goes an totally unexpected route by the film’s end.
Madtown has a really good story about one man’s old and new lives coming together and his determination to break from his past and move on to the present, all driven by a great performance by Milo Ventimiglia.
WFG RATING: A-
SP Distribution presents a Two Car Garage production in association with Burning River Productions. Director: Charles Moore. Producers: Stephen R. Campanella, Liz DuChez, J. Scott Scheel, and Charles Moore. Writer: Charles Moore. Cinematography: John Turk. Editing: Charles Moore.
Cast: Milo Ventimiglia, Rachel Melvin, Amanda Aday, John Billingsley, Bonita Fredericy, Matt Lockwood, Joshua Elijah Reese, Brett Castro, Kinsley Funari, Kristina Kopf, Christopher Mele.
The film will be released on January 5, 2018 from SP Distribution.