Netflix’s Kodachrome is good fall-asleep-with-the-TV-on fare, and I mean you should snooze out immediately unless you want to be subjected to a criminally mediocre family drama. It’s about a last-minute reconciliation involving a dying father (Ed Harris) and his estranged adult son (Jason Sudeikis) after a bonding road trip in which sparks fly between the son and his dad’s attractive young nurse (Elizabeth Olsen). There’s not a single surprising turn in the Mark Raso–directed film (penned by Jonathan Tropper). Though Sudeikis’s Matt Ryder has built up years’ worth of resentment against Ben (Harris), the father who abandoned him, we know immediately they’ll find common ground. Both live archaically: Ben is a photographer who initiates the road trip in order to develop his film at the old-timey Kodachrome photo center in Kansas before it closes; Matt is a record label exec who does things the old-fashioned way — he cares about the authenticity of the music. Just as Ben had been absent from his family’s life, Matt, too, had issues with his ex: “She said I had a tendency of living in the past instead of embracing the present.”
In a suspiciously breezy series of events, Matt is offered a sit-down with a coveted band if he agrees to join his dad on this road trip. There’s definitely a scene where Ben’s nurse Zooey (Olsen) gives Matt a whole spiel about how “you’re scared to open yourself up” to Ben. And while Matt initially laughs it off, he, well, ends up opening himself up to his father. The Matt-Zooey romance is also trite and predictable. In between are long stretches of road scenes set to a Garden State–lite soundtrack.
Directed by Mark Raso
Opens April 20, Landmark 57
Premieres on Netflix April 20
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This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 17, 2018