SUNDANCE 2020 FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW! Imagine if your Uber or Lyft driver fancied themself as some sort of self-help guru. This is the premise of the comedy series The Ride. This Duplass Brothers’ produced comedy series explores a series of Los Angeles set vignettes driven by Linas Phillips’ Wayne, a ride-share driver who has definitely read Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now more than once. He has crystals and sage at the ready in his center console, and he’s not afraid to tell his passengers precisely what he thinks about the conversations they’re having. It should be obvious, but I’ll go ahead and mention that he has a one-star rating.
“…Wayne imparts some “invaluable” advice to his unwitting passengers...”
In each episode of The Ride, Wayne imparts some “invaluable” advice to his unwitting passengers, which include one of my favorite young character actors and Girls regular Alex Karpovsky, Shrill‘s Luka Jones, and Undeclared‘s Timm Sharp. He also just so happens to be a little too into the woman he’s wanting to date named Dana (Maria Thayer) and follows her more than once with passengers in the car. She does not share his feelings, and that is abundantly clear to everyone around Wayne, including his passengers who get pulled into his relationship drama by merely being in the car.
The Ride explores different relationship dynamics via the passengers Wayne picks up and through his relationship with Dana. While it is a comedy, there’s definitely a little sadness peering in on the edges. You can’t help but feel a bit sorry for Wayne and his cluelessness when it comes to Dana, but you’re also allowed to think that what he’s doing is unhealthy. Wayne is not painted as someone to be emulated, but more as someone for whom we should feel sorry. Wayne has good intentions and even sometimes does impart wisdom to his passengers, but as Dana tells him, it’s good for him to want to help others, but he needs to get some help for himself first.