At 2 hours and 3 minutes long, including end credits, I’ll Be Around fails to momentum until the end; which is a crying shame as the audience invests in at least four or five of the cast of a dozen or so. Plus, the backdrop of attendees and musicians of a punk festival in Petropolis is the perfect avenue to explore the themes of loneliness, depression, artistic highs, and lows, as well as interconnectivity.
Eve Valentine (Sarah Lawrence) has had a decently long and successful rock career, but she no longer knows what is still driving her. This puts her on edge at all times, even with fans. It also means she and her manager are bickering during the entire festival. Cooper (Drew Clapp) wakes up in the back of a car, using a loaf of bread as a pillow. He has to find $15,000 to pay a music producer, or all his work will be deleted. All the while, lovelorn Kip (Brendan Takash) looks to make a connection with someone.
“…the backdrop of attendees and musicians of a punk festival in Petropolis…”
Throughout the day, Babs (Emma Koffroth) is searching for Rory (Maxwell Reis), a member of The Motion Pictures, who are playing over the weekend. Smooth talker Rex Dollar$ (Joey Halter) is hiding a secret- he cannot last longer than a minute in bed with any woman. He spends the first night of the festival seeking a possible cure. There’s also Joanie (Kat Yeary), who is forced to take an extra shift at her job. This means that she might not make it to the festival in time to play with her band.
Not to mention the two thieves who love music (Grant Moninger and Jesse Gavin, respectively). Or how about when teenage fans of Eve Valentine get themselves kicked out of the venue after a short time? Or the entire story involving Phoebe (Sofia Grace)? Also, lest I forget to mention Jonah Ray’s cameo as an insane hypnotist.
I know that there are a lot of people and scenarios laid out in the plot description. But that is, at best, half of them. Lo and behold, the problem with I’ll Be Around. There are far too many plot threads and characters going on to properly invest in them. As charming as Moninger and Gavin are as the burglars, and they share fantastic chemistry, they could be cut without losing anything of note. The same goes for Cooper’s section. As with everyone else in the film, Clapp is very natural and engaging in the role. But Cooper’s money woes are the least compelling stuff in the movie.