Some quotes from the movie include: "We have to talk." "Let's talk." "I need to talk to you alone." And so on. When the ensemble cast of characters isn't just talking, they are talking about talking.
In a less-interesting cross between the excellent Big Chill and the horrible American Wedding, Standing Still follows a group of 20-something friends who knew each other in college, and who reconvene for the nuptials of two of them.
Sweet, easygoing Elise (Amy Adams) is the bride-to-be, and introspective Michael (Adam Garcia) is the love of her life. Best man Rich (Aaron Stanford) now feels the pressure to pop the question to his live-in girlfriend Samantha (Melissa Sagemiller), and they talk about that quite a bit.
Others in their circle of friends include an oversexed Hollywood agent, Quentin (Colin Hanks); insecure pack-rat, Pockets (Jon Abrahams); and neurotic, eye-rolling Lana (Mena Suvari). Thrown into the mix is a former friend of Elise's, a torch-carrying lesbian songwriter, Jennifer (Lauren German); Michael's estranged junkie dad (Xander Berkeley); a would-be boyfriend of Lana's (Ethan Embry); and two clients of the Hollywood agent, played by James Van Der Beek and Roger Avary.
The above-mentioned are certainly a dream-cast for any director, but unfortunately it would seem that they were not being directed at all -- I've seen each of these actors put in excellent performances, but here in Standing Still none of them seem to have a handle on their roles. They drift through the frame, talking, and you really couldn't care less how their characters wind up. (In fact, I would have welcomed a Dynasty-style "Muldavian Wedding" shootout!)
Aside from the very talky, static look and feel to Standing Still, my main problem with it is its sheer and utter predictability. The instant any character is introduced, we know exactly how their story is going to play out.
The cinematic equivalent of a still life, Standing Still is best-suited to insomniacs in search of a sure cure, or angst-filled 20-somethings who'd like a real talking-to.
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