“Please don’t make this another metaphor for your body.“
“If the clothes fit. . . .”
— Mads and Junior
What do you get when you take a 65-page screenplay written over a weekend that’s tossed into a car (okay, two cars) with four people traveling 4500 miles for 14 days from Los Angeles to Las Vegas to South Dakota to Portland?
You get the instantly engaging industry calling card The In-Between, an indie road movie that, we hope, will do for the multitalented Mindy Bledsoe what She’s Gotta Have It, Clerks, and Flywheel did for Spike Lee, Kevin Smith, and Alex Kendrick.
Now, before you’re turned off by the “road movie” aspect of The In-Between, take note: this isn’t a Melissa McCarthy or Tim Allen slapstick comedy rife with oddball characters. And if you’re in the market for a Todd Phillips road comedy, keep on truckin’—and zip right on by the Judd Apatow comedy exit.
A film, at its core, should entertain. And the films by those A-List La-La Landers, in their own way, certainly do. And The In-Between definitely does. However, at its best, a film should give the viewer a new perspective on the lives of others. And most films—a lot of films—don’t. Why? Because they’re product made to fill seats; they’re not personal. The In-Between is that personal film. It’s the one that shakes the viewer out their little I-Me-Mine world. For Bledsoe’s film possesses a depth and warmth that Jennifer Aniston’s corporate chronic pain romp, 2014’s Cake, lacked. Aniston researched and acted (for Oscar gold). Bledsoe, as well as her co-writer and co-star, Jennifer Stone, live it—everyday.
While The In-Between is a brave journey into the world of everyday people dealing with their “invisible chronic illness”—the illness, takes a back seat courtesy of an intelligent screenplay (filled with natural, realistic dialog). Most of us never think twice of eating a pizza; a person with Type 1 diabetes, does (which afflicts actress Jennifer Stone). Washing our hands is a pain-free experience; not for a person with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type 2 (which afflicts Mindy Bledsoe). The monitors. The needles. The compression sleeves. The pills. The schedules. It’s those we-take-for-granted moments that provide an insight to the lives of Mads (Jennifer Stone, of Disney Channel’s The Wizards of Waverly Place) and Junior (writer, director, producer Mindy Bledsoe) that serve to elevate the script to its true purpose: not as an Oscar violin about dealing with illness, but as an examination on the importance of friendship, and the spiritual and emotional voids a bond of trust between friends, fills.
In addition to its exquisite cinematography, screenwriting, and acting, there’s the soundtrack. In so many films, a soundtrack’s creation is solely for the purposes of mood; most times, the soundtrack is nothing more than a record company’s product placement. In the case of The In-Between, the music serves as a third character that drives the plot and develops the other characters. We come to learn the reason for the cross-country trip is to visit the place where Junior’s musician-sister, Veronica, was killed in a car-crash and caused Junior’s chronic pain. Veronica’s “voice” is beautifully portrayed by the music of the common-bands Super Water Symphony/Hydrogen Child, which plays via car-based CDs and vinyl albums on a portable, battery-powered record player.
Everything about this movies works. And the festival crowds agree. The In-Between recently came off a successful film festival run, where it won multiple awards at the Austin Revolution, Toronto Female Eye, Twister Alley International, and Women Texas film festivals. It’s currently in the market for distribution and we hope it finds a deserving home in the PPV and VOD universe, soon. You can keep up to date with film’s success at its official Facebook page.
Disclaimer: We discovered this movie via social media, were intrigued by the trailer, and reached out to the filmmakers to provide us with a screener copy.