Cashing Out is Alex Srednoselac’s feature-length directorial debut, from a script he wrote alongside Melissa Hansell. 25-year-old Allen (Tyler Mills) feels stuck in his life. Between his dead-end job as a busboy at a local pizza joint and taking care of his ailing father, Rich (James Timothy Peters), Allen seems never to be able to get ahead. His only solace comes when he gets to play poker. But, low stakes games don’t help pay the bills.
So, Allen and his friends Jags (Michaela Lichvanova) and Robby (Tremont Turner) decide to rob one of the poker games. After getting away with it once, Jaqs is eager to hit more and more games. Since Allen is secretly in love with her, he wants to keep going as well. But he knows that spacing out the robberies is the best idea. Meanwhile, Allen hires a home nurse Kate (Whitney Wickham), as his dad is only getting worse. The nurse happens to be his boss’s daughter, and he discovers that they play poker as well. Will money solve all of Allen’s woes?
“…feels stuck in his life…So, Allen and his friends…decide to rob one of the poker games.”
The first thing to stand out to me in Cashing Out is its remarkable score. During the first poker game, the one that gets robbed, which starts the film, the low rumble of the score is intense. This is before the poker game even gets burglarized. It is an attention-grabbing way to start the movie, and the music never disappoints. After a particularly bad day at work, Allen inadvertently takes it out on Kate. The dramatic hum of the score sells the gravity of what is being said perfectly.
That is not to imply the score is the only worthwhile thing about the drama, as Cashing Out works on most, though not all, levels. The one big issue is that some of the supporting actors- randoms folks at a few of the poker games or the pizzeria- are just not very good.
"…the score sells the gravity of what is being said perfectly."