The Movie Waffler New Release Review - <i>Don't Pass Me By</i> | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - Don't Pass Me By

Drama revolving around four distinct relationships.

Directed by: Eric Priestley
Starring: Sean Stone, Keith David, C. Thomas Howell, Rachel Noll, Jeremy London, Jake Busey

Don’t Pass Me By is about four relationships that are connected only because the participants were all in the same diner at the time one of the four relationships climaxed in the only way that particular one could.  The four different relationships are pretty straight forward: there is the couple that married too quickly, and we find the woman realizing she loves someone else; there is the young girl who gets pregnant from a one night stand and the father wants to become part of her life; there is the rekindled attraction between two old friends, but now one is a high profile movie star; and lastly, in my opinion the most effective, there is a woman who meets the perfect man just days after finding out she has inoperable cancer. 
With such a large cast, I found it shocking that the most familiar faces in the film - David, Howell, Busey, and London - are all basically cameos, or at best small roles.  It’s not that they are better actors than the leads of each relationship, but to see so many familiar faces in the smaller roles actually distracted me a bit because I couldn’t understand why they weren’t in the bigger roles.  While no one stands out as bad in the film, only Noll and Stone, of the cancer relationship, stand out as particularly good, and that is largely due to their great on screen chemistry rather than exceptional character development. 
Has anyone else noticed the over use of the multiple story line plot device?  I enjoy some of the films that use it, but at this point, I am getting a bit tired of it.  When using this story telling device, there has to be a point of significance that links everyone involved together.  Otherwise, to me at least, it comes off as a cheap way to get more “Stars” into the film, or it feels like they are more concerned about getting more people in the seats with diverse half-baked character arcs.  Or maybe the filmmakers had the idea for multiple films, but didn’t want to take the effort to make each of them full-fledged stories worthy of their own features. 
Ultimately, even in the ones I do like, I always feel sort of ripped off because the characters I really enjoyed and/or really connected with didn’t get more screen time.  Instead of seeing the people I like and care about, I have to sit through people I don’t care for as much, and I find myself liking them even less because they took time away from those I did like.  This is definitely the case for most of the relationships in Don’t Pass Me By, because there isn’t enough time to really get to know any of the couples very well at all so they all end up falling flat.

Andy Comer