LOOKING FOR SUNDAY (Mark Piznarski)
The nervous energy was contagious as I sat in the theatre at the Starz Denver Film Festival the evening of the world premiere of Looking for Sunday, a movie produced in Denver. It seemed that everyone surrounding me had some connection with the film, not to mention the presence of the cast and crew. I have to admit I didn’t have the highest expectations for this film. My doubts were not born of any particular reason, perhaps it was more that deep down I feared Looking for Sunday would bomb and I’d have to write a bad review of a movie that portrayed our little city. However, surrounded by all of these people that felt so connected with the film, I found myself with butterflies in my stomach inching towards the edge of my seat.
Looking for Sunday tells the story of two twenty-something roommates, Peter (Michael Weston) and Lucas (Spence Decker) coming to terms with their respective places in the “real world.” It’s clear by the look of their apartment cluttered with beer bottles and retro furniture that these guys have not let go of their college days. Peter is preparing to present his dissertation for his PhD in philosophy and Lucas has become disenchanted with his resident rock star status in Denver while searching for something bigger. Katharine Towne plays Elizabeth, Peter’s high school friend (with whom he’s still smitten). Elizabeth unexpectedly comes to town and becomes the catalyst that turns their world upside down.
Director Mark Piznarski does a brilliant job of showing off the beauty of our city and representing the Denver we know and love with scenes in the Bluebird, Whiskey Bar, and Samadhi Center for Yoga. The story is familiar too as the atmosphere of Denver makes for a very easy and comfortable place to be; which in turn produces a large number of drifters blissed-out on the sun, thin air, or perhaps the numerous adrenal pumping recreational activities and beckoning of the Rocky Mountain skyline. The character Lucas ultimately decides to pursue his music career in L.A. Decker, who played Lucas and also wrote the original script, said that Denver was the perfect setting because, “It couldn’t have been a place that was easy to leave.” Piznarski said, “I’d like to shoot every project here.”
I really want this movie to be great particularly after experiencing first hand the passion of those who made it. But it’s hard to say if I had gone to this film on any other day, if it wasn’t a film so close to home where I saw places that I frequent and my own friends in the background of the scenes—would I have loved it?
Looking for Sunday was a pleasant departure from the many heavy and political films at the festival. The chemistry between the characters on screen was on point, the acting pretty damn good. There were some cheesy moments in the script and the characters sometimes acted more as if they were whiny high school kids than college grads grappling with life’s big questions; but perhaps that was the point. I think that Looking for Sunday is a good, solid film, not life changing, not even riveting but not one in which you leave feeling like you’ve wasted two precious hours of your life either.
It’s a film worth checking out and a must see if you’ve spent any time in Denver.