The lives of four random strangers change forever (in a good way) in Roxy Shih’s Pooling to Paradise. Jenny is a popular mommy-blogger rushing to Las Vegas for a conference and a much-needed break from her family. The problem is she inadvertently hit the “pool” option on the rideshare app and is about to miss her flight. Joining Jenny on her trip to LAX is Kara (Dreama Walker), Sean (Jonathan Lipnicki), and, of course, their driver Marc (Jordan Carlos).
Think of Pooling to Paradise as the Breakfast Club in a car. Four strangers at different points in their lives, coming together and learning a little about themselves and one another. Jenny is a high-strung mother, and Kara is a struggling actor. All the while, Marc is breezing through life as the product of activist parents, taking an ample supply of psychedelics. On the other hand, Sean wants to kill himself after breaking up with his girlfriend, Dawn (Taryn Manning). What does one do when cooped up with a group of strangers? Get real, of course.
The distraught Sean offers to pay Marc to drive him to Dawn’s home in Paradise, Nevada, to find “closure.” Since Paradise is near Vegas and she’s already missed her flight, Jenny agrees to go along with Sean’s plan. Kara has nothing better to do, so she’s in. Along the way, personal issues come out, slight misunderstandings here and there, and ultimately the crew rallies behind Sean and helps him piece his life and relationship together.
“Four strangers at different points in their lives, coming together and learning a little about themselves…”
Pooling to Paradise is more of a light drama than comedy. There are not many laugh-out-loud moments, but good drama. The fun in the rideshare adventure is getting to know these characters. All four are at some crosspoint in life. Jenny gave up a career as a TV journalist for her family. Kara is caught between what she wants in life versus her family. Sean simply screwed up his life over a bad decision. Marc just wants to chill and enjoy life.
We have a fun film with very low stakes, which is honestly greatly appreciated and welcome. The main actors have been in the acting game for quite some time, and this movie is an excellent vehicle for each to display their chops. Our four lead actors have excellent chemistry, and their stories are relatable. For a film that features a lot of conversations, it rarely lags. Screenwriter Caytha Jentis has a good command of conversation as the dialogue rarely feels scripted.
Overall, this is a strong, solid movie. It feels like meeting new friends for the first time, and with all that’s happened over the past year, I welcome a film like Pooling To Paradise with open arms.
"…like meeting new friends for the first time..."