Finding Me: Truth Film Review - So Much Drama

 

"Finding Me: Truth" Available on DVD September 18, 2011

 

Faybien (RayMartell Moore) is having man trouble. Somewhere back in the first installment of Finding Me, Faybien fell in love with the perfect guy and didn’t say anything. One year later, in Finding Me: Truth, Faybien has written yet another letter in hopes of keeping in touch and mustering the courage to finally go for it with Lonnie (Derrick L. Briggs), the one that got away.

 

Newly unemployed friend Greg (Eugene Turner) is the keep-it-real bisexual voice of reason. He thinks Faybien should go after Lonnie despite the fact that Lonnie is now seeing one. Personally, Greg is seeing both Reggie (Eric Joppy) on the weekends and Tammy (Miste Roule Ryals) whenever either of them has an itch that needs scratching.

 

Eugene Turner (l.) & Eric Joppy

 

Faybien’s high maintenance, high strung recording artist friend Amera (J’Nara Corbin) thinks Faybien had his chance and blew it, insisting that he should respect Lonnie’s current relationship. Aside from giving really bad advice, Amera has no trouble creating drama on her own. She has convinced herself that her hot and heavy steady, Gabe (Josh Breckenbridge) is cheating on her.

 

When Lonnie returns in a business trup and ultimately rejects Faybien, our hero is sent into an emotional tailspin. He seeks refuge in a world of heavy clubbing, anonymous sex and, with the encouragement of Greg’s thug roommate Jaylen (Maurice Murrell), recreational drug use. There seems to be no end to Faybien’s downward spiral towards self-destruction. Meanwhile, Greg comes ever closer to his two lovers finding out about one another and Amera thinks she actually has proof Gabe is cheating, or does she?

 

RayMartell Moore (l.) & Derrick L. Briggs

 

At its core, Finding Me: Truth is a morality tale about the consequences involved with a lack of passion and bravery. It preaches of the dangers of excess and the danger of not being true to oneself. And, as in life, some characters fair better than others. Writer / Director Roger S. Omeus Jr. does a great job of creating a familiar and likable cast of characters; and in some instances, notably dislikable ones. However, for an ensemble piece, there is a shocking lack of chemistry. Omeus’ direction is heavy handed and the performances are very showy. Everything and everyone is exact what they seem to be. Complexity and subtlety are completely lost on this film. Perhaps as a soap opera or a melodrama, this film fairs just fine.

 

The production values of this film are passable. If one acknowledges how difficult and laborious and expensive it is to make a film, then one can certainly recognize and congratulate the finishing of one. I can forgive the dangling shoestrings of any budget, so long as I can see where their money went; what is the one thing that was special and that the filmmaker spend effort on and really got right. I could not identify any special care taken with anything in this film - not in production design, not in lighting, not in the edit. So I have to conclude the film simply lacks polish.

 

For me Josh Breckenridge is the gem of this film. He was wonderful. While the other cast members do have “good moments” sporadicly throughout the film, Breckenridge’s Gabe is the only character that feels like an actual person, rather than a stereotype or caricature. Well Done Mr. Breckenbridge.

 

It’s my job to see lots of movies and lots of theater. But studying and critiquing lots of film can sometimes dull one’s audience instinct. Sometimes, it’s hard to set aside all that learnin’ and consider the intended audience. In times like these, I think, “Would my sisters like this film?” I think they would. I think they would rent it and enjoy it, calling this cast of over-the-top characters a hot mess. They would have an enjoyable (albeit forgettable) two hours, watching this group of friends stumble through similar pitfalls as themselves; just to see Black folks on the screen and just to escape for a little while. ‘Cause that’s what movies are for, right?

 

Finding Me: Truth is available now on DVD at TLA Releasing.com

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