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For When You Get Lost

By Parker Whitmore | December 4, 2023

Sincere, subversive, and entirely unique — For When You Get Lost is a film that beautifully articulates the tragedies of familial dysfunction through its darkly comedic lens. Moreover, this coming-of-middle-age tale’s road-tripping premise provides genuine pathos from start to finish and a ton of laughs along the way.

This isn’t to say that the film is free from fault, but instead remains so unabashedly itself that you can’t help but admire how heartfelt things have gotten by the time the credits roll.

June (Jennifer Sorenson) is caught by her ex-boyfriend Jack (Brian Thomas Smith) staging a suicide, which devolves into a not-so-staged suicide and highlights June’s family history of poor mental health. It also highlights her personal history of beer drinking, but hold that thought… NOTE TO SELF: Never try to take your own life in a low-emissions vehicle.

“This coming-of-middle-age tale’s road tripping premise provides genuine pathos from start to finish, and a ton of laughs along the way.”

June receives a call from her ailing father, and this is where our story begins. Setting off on a Pacific Coast road trip to be with her dad  (Mark L. Taylor) before he passes away from cancer, June looks to rekindle a relationship with her sister Cami (Elizabeth Alderfer) — and receive a long-awaited apology surrounding her father’s former missteps as a parent.

If you’re thinking, “Yikes. That sounds pretty heavy duty.”, then you’d be right. For When You Get Lost doesn’t pull punches when it comes to the drama we see on-screen. It does a fantastic job of hedging those resonant moments against comedic beats that draw attention to life’s undeniable absurdity. You’ll laugh to keep from crying.

It’s about Americana. It’s about family. It’s about beer and had me in the mood for one more often than you’d think. As she drives up the coast with Cami, June stops at breweries along the way to rest and reload — taking time to shift perspectives and prepare for a world without her dad. Allowing these narrative folds to imbue comedy into a story that is headed toward death and disaster. Literally.

For When You Get Lost (2023)

Directed: Michelle Steffes

Written: Jennifer Sorenson

Starring: Jennifer Sorenson, Elizabeth Alderfer, Mark L. Taylor, Aja Bair, Cat Hammons, etc.

Movie score: 9/10

For When You Get Lost Image

"…"For When You Get Lost doesn't pull punches when it comes to the drama we see on-screen...""

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