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Passenger Side is a witty road movie about sibling rivalries (4 stars)

Matt Bissonnette's comedy stars Joel Bissonnette and Adam Scott

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Matt Bissonnette's road movie Passenger Side is a smart comedy-drama about sibling rivalries, starring Joel Bissonnette and Adam Scott

(12A) 85min

Before the road movie was carjacked by the American gross-out comedy, Easy Rider and its offspring helped establish a genre of American outsider cinema, with its portraits of the big country beyond the confines of the Hollywood system. Cars have been a central part of the American dream and after the demise of Detroit no modern metropolis is more associated with driving than Los Angeles, and it’s the setting for this smartly written comedy by Canadian Matt Bissonnette (Who Loves The Sun).

Often compared to Hal Hartley, Bissonnette (see profile) continues his fascination with sibling rivalries in this tale starring his brother Joel Bissonnette as Tobey, a recovering drug addict, who commands his writer bro Michael (Adam Scott) to forgo his birthday plans and drive him around town on bizarre errands. The brothers argue against a LA backdrop that showcases the city as sharply as Alex Holdridge’s rom-com In Search of a Midnight Kiss, with awesome music bellowing out of the music system. As much as the film is about the malaise within their relationship it’s also a comment on how American independent film in the home of commercial cinema has become another casualty of materialism. Even road movies offer no bastion.

Grosvenor, Glasgow from Fri 1 April.

Trailers by Film: Passenger Side

Passenger Side

  • 4 stars
  • 2009
  • Canada
  • 15
  • Directed by: Matt Bissonnette
  • Cast: Adam Scott, Joel Bissonnette, Richard Medina

Often compared to Hal Hartley, Canadian Matt Bissonnette continues his fascination with sibling rivalries in this tale starring his brother Joel as a recovering drug addict driven around town on bizarre errands. He and his brother Michael (Adam Scott) argue against an LA backdrop that sharply showcases the city and…

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