Drinking Buddies In Tulsa: “Home, James”

Home James MovieThose who have never visited Tulsa, Oklahoma—my home town—might be quite taken by the buildings and other sights filmed by Jonathan Rossetti for his low-budget Home, James (2014), a love story set in Tulsa.  The movie is clearly a valentine to the city, while the camera sends a valentine to actress Kerry Knuppe in that it plainly loves her.

Rossetti himself, a former Tulsan, plays James, a low-income gent who earns his bread by photographing parties and driving intoxicated people to their homes in their own vehicles.  One night he chauffeurs big socializer Cooper (Knuppe), the woman he will begin a now gratifying, now depressing affair with.  Cooper drinks a lot, but the real problem for James is that, though she has no good reason to do so, she wants to leave Tulsa for New York.  How should James react?

This is most certainly a freshman effort.  There are too many clichés of various kinds in Home, James (such as voiceover voicemail on cell phones).  What saves the film is 1) the confident performances of Knuppe and Julie Gearheard, who co-wrote the script with Rossetti, and 2) the straightforward realism.  No cop-out emerges at the end of this film which tells us that what seems to be easy answers in a love liaison too often are not—and which focuses on the human inclination to spend minutes of our time in a drunken stupor.  (Why do people do it?)

I hope that what Rossetti and Gearheard have done augurs good things for the future.  And I hope the sophomore effort is set in Tulsa too.

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