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The Independent Critic

Faust Checho, Amy Jo Johnson, William Russ, Christine Bell
Joe Herbert, Peter Herbert
Robert Caso
106 Mins.

 "Between Waves" Screening at 2018 Indy Film Fest 
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There's something likable about Between Waves, a laid back and easygoing mid-life crisis story starring Faust Checho as best-selling author Rick Gray, an acclaimed author with millions of adoring fans who arrives at the age of 40 feeling like there's something missing. 

In an attempt to reclaim his lost youth, Gray returns to his hometown in coastal Florida in an effort to reclaim his first car, a red '66 Ford Mustang, an initially futile effort that includes recruiting two childhood friends, Dale (Andy Ahrens) and Cowboy (Benjamin Cain, Jr.), and coming face-to-face with his estranged father (William Russ) and Sheri (Amy Jo Johnson), the girl he left behind when he went off in search of fame. 

Between Waves is a decent enough film, a passable dramedy that never quite gels well enough to sell itself as either comedy or drama yet often feels out of balance trying to achieve both. It doesn't really help that we're never given much of a chance to bond with Checho's Rick Gray, whose burnt out state of being is evident from scene one and who spends far too much of the film being a jerkwad to really gain our interest. By the time his mental state starts to change, it's too little and too late. 

There are times when it seems that Between Waves is about to turn a corner, though this mostly occurs during the film's more serious moments with Checho's more internal performance resonating emotionally. The film's humor, on the other hand, tends to fall mostly flat as the film's serious central theme often gives way to lowbrow humor and tonally inconsistent one-liners. Co-directors Joe and Peter Herbert at times seem to have created an incredibly retro-styled flick much like the kind I used fork over my dough for as a young man in my 20's making my way to the multiplex for my usual Saturday morning matinee. 

Among the supporting players, Benjamin Cain, Jr. and Amy Jo Johnson shine most brightly. Cain seems to innately understand the tonal variation needed here, while Johnson has such an incredibly inviting screen presence that one instantly feels better the minute she shows up. 

Jim Timperman's lensing is pristine and illuminating, though early scenes had some fade in-fade out effects, especially in a scene involving Gray and Jim Dougherty's Therapist, that were just plain distracting. 

Between Waves isn't a bad film, though it's also not the film it could have been and probably should have been. At times almost painfully revealing its low budget, Between Waves is a middling effort that is currently screening as part of the 2018 Indy Film Fest in American Spectrum and Hoosier Lens. 

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic