Michael Cera and Kristen Stewart in Road Comedy

In Michael Angarano’s discreet comedy Sacramento, a fickle man persuades his ex-friend to take a road trip with him from Los Angeles to the Californian capital. The ride is a wild adventure peppered with interactions that help the two men unravel the knots in their friendship and confront their fears about the future.

Ricky (Angarano) and Glenn (Michael Cera) seem more different on the surface. The first is an eccentric nature lover who aspires to become a counselor. The latter is a restless businessman settled into domestic life with his wife, Rosie (an ace Kristen Stewart). While Ricky makes fleeting connections on backpacking trips through the California forests, Glenn prepares for the birth of his first child by building a $400 crib.

Sacramento

The essential

A slender adventure carried by charming moments.

Place: Tribeca Film Festival (American narrative competition)
Cast: Michael Cera, Kristen Stewart, Michael Angarano, Maya Erskine
Director: Michael Angarano
Scriptwriter : Chris Smith, Michael Angarano

1 hour 24 minutes

These two men became friends when they were children, during a swimming lesson during which Ricky almost drowned Glenn. Their relationship has been strained for years and Glenn tries to “get” Ricky out of his life: he rarely shows up and doesn’t tell his friend he’s having a baby. Yet they share a history and, whether they like it or not, a kind of emotional avoidance based on worry about what’s next.

Angarano and Chris Smith’s light screenplay details Ricky and Glenn’s relationship just enough to move the narrative forward, but more information, particularly about the two men, would have increased. Sacramento. It is through these anecdotes about the past that a real story – a prickly tale of arrested development and the awkwardness of growing apart – emerges from a collection of otherwise quite engaging conversations and solid comedic bits.

The film opens with a glimpse of Glenn’s struggles with debilitating anxiety and a kind of blinding rage. After discovering an annoying squeak with the expensive crib, Glenn shakes the wooden structure until it breaks. He later struggles to tell Rosie about the incident, claiming to have passed out. Sacramento gestures at Glenn’s condition throughout – sometimes for laughs – but its severity remains vague. Nonetheless, Cera gives a convincing performance as a man on the verge of depression. He conveys both physical and less tangible manifestations of Glenn’s anxiety—handshaking, circular thinking, and rumination—that help us better understand the depth of the character’s struggles.

Ricky is a less volatile figure, but still vaguely sketched. Although he may be more in tune with his emotions, he is unreliable. A first glimpse of his life takes place one…

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