By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
Not many road trip style movies are both tearfully funny and musically joyous at the same time. In Cas & Dylan, the meeting of two unlikely individuals creates a deeply moving tale and a great character building drama.
When Cas Pepper (Richard Dreyfuss) is a widowed oncologist diagnosed with a medical problem, he has a few choices to make. He can either get it treated or retire. Or, he can embark on a road trip so he can find some peace. Little does he know, a spritely young writer Dylan Morgan (Tatiana Maslany) leaps into his life and what she likes to do is cause chaos.
What makes this film wonderful to watch is that these two characters are both on a journey of self-discovery and awakenings.
Pepper is a bit of an old codger. He’s stuffy and loves his country music. Dylan, on the other hand, is a young minx who loves rock and roll. Her troubled life needs a hand. Maybe she needs a strong father-figure in her life to help guide her, and because she has been hanging out in the hospital Pepper works in, maybe she saw something in Pepper that she liked.
Writer Jessie Gabe crafted a great, layered, story that shows how the two unlikeliest of people manages to bond. Even director Jason Priestley demonstrates he knows his comedy very well. He directed for television many times and his transition to working on feature length films looks like a promising one. The way he had Maslany come to life on the screen is beautiful, and she will no doubt be a star on the rise. Dreyfuss is just as wonderful in his transformation of realizing he can be happy again.
Even the choice of bluegrass music used is a sweet touch to drive home the idea that the type of music Donnie & Marie mixed together is still reverent today. This heartwarming film with a message will no doubt change the formula for odd couple comedies still to come. All this product has to do is to break out of the film festival circuit and hit the domestic with marketing revving up everything it can do to make this film known.
5 out of 5