The Go-Getter Martin Hynes

The Go-Getter Martin Hynes
What is it about indie films and the quest to find oneself? It’s as unavoidable for up-and-coming directors as it is for studios to green light another horror remake or adaptation of a forgotten TV series.

Lou Taylor Pucci already perfected the "naïve young soul in search of himself” back in 2006’s Thumbsucker, and he’s used again for a similar purpose, though without the childish compulsion. Pucci is Mercer, a 19-year-old with a Huck Finn complex looking for something, anything, really. So he steals the car of Kate (Zooey Deschanel) and heads out on the road in search of his long-lost half-brother.

Of course, a simple road trip isn’t in the cards and Mercer finds himself meeting a cast of shady characters connected to his, or his brother’s, past: the old crush from high school Joely (Jena Malone), who introduces him to Ecstasy and takes advantage of his innocence, a commune of hippies, an amateur teen porn director and a group of burn-outs (led by Maura Tierney) looking to finish their community service by playing in a band. All this time he maintains a relationship with Kate, who seems more interested in getting the buy than getting her Volvo back.

Hynes intersperses the film with hazy, dream-like visuals to allow Mercer to imagine Kate, but a lot of it feels like he felt the need to give Deschanel more camera time, and an artsy dance bit feels distracting and unnecessary. In fact, Deschanel is wasted until the final third of the film, where, as adorable as she is, she gets tossed into one of the most unrealistic romances a 19-year-old has ever dreamed up: boy steals girl’s car, boy develops relationship over the cell phone with girl, boy is caught by girl in Sacramento and, well, cue the dream sequence and clichéd fulfilment.

There’s little reward to watching The Go-Getter other than realising it was the foundation of Deschanel and co-star M. Ward’s musical collaboration She & Him, which is definitely something to be thankful for. But that’s about it. (Peace Arch)