Review: 'American Folk' Starring Joe Purdy, Amber Rubarth, And Krisha Fairchild

The film American Folk stars Joe Purdy, Amber Rubarth, David Fine, and Krisha Fairchild. The movie follows two people's journey cross-country as they attempt to get back to NY from California after their plane is grounded following the attacks that occurred on 9/11.

Truthfully, I don't have much to say about this movie. It wasn't horrible by any means, but there also wasn't anything spectacular, groundbreaking, or insightful about it either. I actually think that one of the biggest flaws of the the movie is it's lack of a perceived point to the narrative of the story.

I could tell that the film was trying to push this theme of the power of music especially when it comes to it being a connecting force between other people. While we do see the two main characters, Purdy and Rubarth, coming into contact with different kinds of people so as to show the rise in compassion and unison that occurred following the attacks; and to the movie's credit we do see how through these different interactions that they are telling the audience that American people come in all different sizes, shapes, colors, come from different backgrounds, have different stories to tell, etc...; the movie itself doesn't really do anything more for the theme at hand. We're never shown the ways in which music is/can be powerful. Just showing the two main characters singing folk songs every now and then, where a majority of the time those moments are spent by themselves does nothing to show us the power the music.

I also think that having the September 11th attacks as the background setting for this movie was more of a lazy attempt at creating contrived emotion. If they did want to go with that background setting and particular theme, then the filmmakers would have been better off showing how music brings people together, how it can help to fight any kind of racism or xenophobia that I know sprang up during that time, or how it helps people in times of grief; but we're never shown any of that and I think it was such a missed opportunity.

As I've already said this wasn't a terrible movie; I've seen a lot worse when it comes to the overall story, the structure of said story, the writing, the editing, and even the acting (I actually think that the performances were the best part of the movie). However, if the filmmakers were indeed looking to create something that was meant to be incredibly meaningful, then it definitely could have been a lot better.

American Folk opens in theaters and On Demand January 26, 2017

Rating: 2 out of 5