The Go-Getter

2008, Movie, R, 93 mins


Writer-director Martin Hynes’ road movie is a cute, slight tale of a teenager who hits the road in hopes of figuring out the meaning of life.

Raised by his hippie-ish mother in Eugene, Oregon, unworldly 19-year-old Mercer White (Lou Taylor Pucci) manages to keep it together through her lingering death from cancer. But eight months later, while reading Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn for school, he snaps: Feeling trapped and directionless, Mercer steals a car and takes off, ostensibly in search of Arlen (Jsu Garcia), the much older brother he barely knows but wants to inform of their mother’s death. Along the way, Mercer crosses paths with modern-day communards, a pornographer (Julio Oscar Mechoso) who calls himself “Sergio Leone,” a slutty nymphet he knew in middle school (Jena Malone) and who now hangs with white-trash thugs, an eccentric pet-shop employee (Maura Tierney)and a travelling liquor salesman (Bill Duke) who comes through when Mercer finds himself in a jam. All the while, Mercer is slowly falling for the owner of the car he stole, an oh-so-ironic older woman (Zoey Deschanel) who stays in touch via the cell phone Mercer stole along with the car.

THE GO-GETTER has its charms, including Hynes’ deft hand with dialogue, but ultimately it’s too familiar make any great impression. Its long-term claim to fame is likely to be that it introduced Deschanel to M. Ward, who composed the film’s original music, spawning the indie duo She & Him. leave a comment --Maitland McDonagh

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