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Prince Avalanche

Year: 2013
Production Co: Muskat Filmed Properties
Director: David Gordon Green
Writer: David Gordon Green
Cast: Paul Rudd, Emile Hirsch

Further proof that it depends on your point of view. Filmmakers like Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese get a free pass for the occasional dud (Scoop, Gangs of New York) when they make so many classics.

I think (but I don't know) writer/director David Gordon Green has a cachet all his own that convinced audiences who love his stuff this was a movie worth watching.

Because good God, metaphors like paint drying and grass growing don't even begin to describe how little happens in this tedious exercise in endurance. What took 94 minutes seemed like three hours as two highway repair workers do absolutely nothing, Green expecting you to consider it comedy/drama.

It's 1988 (for some reason that's never explained), and the straight-laced Alvin (Rudd) and the younger and slightly more reckless (but still with the sensibility of a scared little kid) Lance (Hirsch) are moving through a section of forest destroyed by fire, fixing the road after the damage.

Lance is the brother to Alvin's fiance back home and he's a slacker and a buffoon, rubbing the buttoned down Alvin up the wrong way. The plot follows the oft-trod arc of opposites fighting and then attracting as the two men argue and then start to understand each other.

And maybe it would have been better if it had been a straighter, more commercial comedy. As it is, it's too jarring to see Rudd playing it straight – you keep waiting for him to bust out a routine, Bryan Fantana style.

But even that might be okay if something actually happened. Nothing feels like it has any consequence or throughline, so when an oddball local trucker comes into the picture at various points, it's an example of something that makes you think even Green himself was desperate to pad out the running time.

If you don't want to laugh, sympathise with characters, marvel at the scenery or cinematography or feel any emotional engagement whatsoever, maybe you'll like the popcorn.

It's trying to be intimate, quirky and charming but it's boring to an astonishing degree.

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