Drawing With Chalk: An Unremarkable Coming-of-Middle-Age Story


Slight and sweet with a bit of a paunch in the middle, Drawing With Chalk resembles the aging would-be rock stars at its center. Jay (Todd Giglio, who also co-wrote and directed) and Matt (Christopher Springer, the other co-writer) are longtime friends and fellow musicians whose dream of hitting the big-time in New York dissolved when their shot at a record deal fell through (shades of Greenberg, a pinch of Anvil: The Story of Anvil). Both moved upstate and took jobs at a steel mill: Jay got married and spawned; Matt deepened his bond with his PlayStation. When the men make a last-ditch attempt to revive their music careers, Jay’s wife, Jasmin (Pooja Kumar), responds with the requisite derision. The thing is, “Domestic Oblivion” actually sound pretty good—a little Foo Fighters, a little Fountains of Wayne. (Giglio’s better-named, real-life band, the Turnback, handled the score.) Of all the conflicts in the film—between Jay and his wife, Jay and his pragmatic Indian in-laws, Jay and the boss who lays him off—the most convincing is the one involving his most intimate partner: his bandmate. Their relationship, so fraught with love and disappointment, is the heart of an otherwise well-turned but unremarkable coming-of-middle-age story.