How many road trip movies of self discovery starring artsy, skinny, white kids that fall in love with unconventionally cute little brown-haired girls do we need? I am sick of this indie staple and while “The Go-Getter” may have some witty moments, it dredges at such a slow pace that it isn’t worth the trip.
Mercer’s (Lou Taylor Pucci) mom died of cancer eight months ago so he steals a car from a car wash in order to track down his half-brother Arlen (Jsu Garcia) and tell him the bad news. Mercer travels from Oregon to Mexico on his search for his brother, all the while getting into one far-fetched odyssey after another while talking to the female owner of the car via cell phone. The film can be amusing, but I believe that many of Mercer’s dream sequences come off as pretentious.
The film is written and directed by Martin Hynes and it is obvious that a ton of effort went into this indie road movie with all of the varying locations that Mercer visits. Yet every time Mercer talks to Kate (Zooey Deschanel), there is a sequence that Mercer thinks of where even though Zooey is only talking to him on the phone, she is in the car with him as if they are traveling together. Maybe that sounds original and imaginative but these sequences could serve the same purpose if they weren’t so frequent and long. One sequence has Mercer, Kate, and Joely (Jena Malone) tap-dancing in black and white. This scene seems to go on forever and gets tiresome really quickly. Another such scene has Mercer and Kate playing with pop-guns on a beach and then Kate bleeds to death and is immersed into the sand. Both of those scenes are taken out of context, sure, I was just as confused when I saw them within the context of the movie.
I loved Pucci in the film “The Thumbsucker” and Deschanel is just awesome in whatever she does, but this particular film doesn’t deliver in any real way. I didn’t care that much about their relationship because of how recycled it all felt. The film is only 90 minutes but it felt like an eternity since Mercer goes to way too many places trying to track down Arlen. The film could have been just as strong if he had only been to three places instead of about six. The fact that he went to all of these different locations made it feel like the filmmaker had a solid short idea that he decided to drag out into a feature.
With such a decent group of actors and amazing set of locations (even if there were to many), it is a shame that the story just doesn’t keep up. If you have seen one road trip movie in your life, and most likely you have, than save yourself and skip this train wreck.