Kate Burns (Barbara Hershey) is a put-upon New Yorker who grows tired of “The City That Never Sweeps” and decides to bolt across the USA. Your first reaction might be “Who cares?” And the rest of the film isn’t apt to change that query.
But here’s what goes down, in a nutshell–Kate jumps into a taxi driven by a swarthy young gent (Naveen Andrews) who decides that he is indeed willing to take this apparent kook on an open-ended roadtrip through the heart of America. She says wants to go to “the desert”. At first the young cabbie refuses, but when she waves the princely sum of two grand in his face he stomps on the gas pedal and on any kind of credibility the film might have had.
What we’re leading up to here is a “touching” romance between the older lady and the younger lackey. Pretty goddamn cute, eh?
Barbara Hershey–who’s, clearly, in her fifties–is definitely trying hard to look young. At some point a gal has to drop the sex kitten act. She was already pretty much past it when she did “Hannah and Her Sisters” in the mid-’80s, so this film is really pushing things. The sad part is that Hershey is a talented actress and it’s too bad that she has to try and look twenty-five years younger than she is to get a lead role in some indie flick.
Meanwhile, our male lead sleepwalks through the film with a constant facial expression that says “Why am I here?” And the sad truth is that these two have zero chemistry together. The alleged “hot” romance is simply an embarrassment.
“Drowning On Dry Land” is pretty dull stuff. The plot is as thin as it gets, and there just isn’t a lot of reason to watch. If you want to have your own Barbara Hershey film festival, this is one you can feel pretty justified in skipping over.