This Indie flick tells the story of Kelly (Juliette Lewis), a young suburban housewife, adjusting to her new maternal situation while reminiscing on cooler days as a wild high school punk rocker. On one of her occasional smoking sessions she encounters Cal (Jonny Weston), an honestly sarcastic and bored teenager. The two find common grounds quickly enough, which slowly turn into a life changing friendship.
Juliette Lewis was a film idol of mine as a teenager. Films like “Natural Born Killers” and “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” were so inspirational to me going through high school, I couldn’t watch them enough. I remember even mimicking her a lot to my friends (“you stupid bitch”), until they went crazy and told me to shut it. It was refreshing to see Ms. Lewis making her way back on the big screen. I missed her. Gracefully older and a lot funnier than I remembered, Juliette is easily convincing of her hardships as a young mom trying to make better of the situation. That’s what made her so great in this film. She still keeps that slow and slightly stoned speech of hers, which always made her sound a little flighty. Funny enough it suits perfectly to this role too. She stays the same in every role she has and I love her for it.
Jonny Weston is a the like a treat. He’s funny and so witty playing Cal, you can’t hold yourself from giggling. Like Kelly, Cal also has a new situation to cope with. He recently became paralyzed from the waist down after risking it for true love (or so he thought) and now adapts to a different perspective, of being on a wheel chair. He’s quite the loner. Actually now that I’m thinking about it, his character reminds me a lot of Gilbert Grape‘s (Johnny Depp). They’re both gorgeous and charming beings, wallowing in their self pity from time to time, waiting for the rescue of a beautiful girl (whether she’s a young wanderer or a suburban mom). Oh, and both actors are named Jo(h)nny! Wow!
Kelly & Cal was directed by creative and most talented Jen McGowan, an award-winning filmmaker and a story-teller which has quickly became one of the most on-the-rise directors in the entertainment industry today. She has managed to create a wonderful and touching film that one can’t get out of their mind. The choosing of this particular cast, starring also Josh Hopkins and Cybill Shepherd, with McGowen’s unique view makes Kelly & Cal a cinematic winner and a must see film, which also premiered at SWSX Film Festival in Austin, Texas.