|Director||Justin Huntington Benson|
|Writers||Justin Huntington Benson
|Cast||Jesse C. Boyd Timothy Palmer Andrea Dupuis Michelle Giannoulis Rachel Roth|
|Plot||A beautiful sunset fills the sky above an empty coastal highway. Momentarily disturbing the scenic landscape, a vintage Cadillac barrels past. Inside the Cadillac Harlan, a visibly distraught, fatigued young man, cracks open a bottle of beer. He looks like a famished vampire. Scattered about the car are the makings of a suicidal drug binge: A cocaine smeared CD, A bottle of whiskey and a glove box packed with enough drugs to kill an elephant. Crammed in the glove box along with the drugs are a revolver and pack of Tarot cards. As Harlan's glazed-over eyes stare down at the hypnotic lines in the road, we begin a series of flashbacks that reveal Harlan's journey to the rock bottom. Harlan's unfolding memories commence with a Goth club styled in such a way to be reminiscent of Moulin Rouge and MTV music videos. Flamboyantly dressed patrons and various types of go- go dancers contribute to the chaotic spectacle. We see Harlan making his way through the club. He catches the attention of a sexy girl, Juliet, standing at the bar. She approaches him, they are instantly infatuated, they grab a table. After some small talk about what they do for a living (Juliet reads tarot cards), and a light hearted reference to Juliet's hemophilia, we cut to Harlan's car, where Juliet has straddled Harlan in the passenger seat. Harlan's memories are then further fleshed out as a montage of images that reveal the evolution of Harlan and Juliet's relationship: we see them standing in the middle of a newly rented apartment, we see them lounging around a room that they have obviously lived in for some time, we see an engagement ring past from Harlan's hand to Juliet's finger. As Harlan's attention is brought back to the present, he pulls the vintage Cadillac up to an old motel off to the side of a coastal road. Harlan grabs whisky and the contents of the glove compartment as he exits the car. Inside the motel, the INNKEEPER, an old man with a kind disposition and character to spare, greets him. Harlan signs in with Innkeeper, then heads to his room down a long, ominous hallway. Inside the motel room, as Harlan continues his drug binge, objects in the motel room cue more memories of Juliet. As Harlan dozes off in the motel bed, we see more fragmented moments in their relationship, particularly images of maternity. These flashbacks are repeatedly interrupted by various chilling noises from outside the room. These ominous noises provoke Harlan to get out of bed and probe the walls of the room for the origin of the disturbance. He eventually follows the sounds to the door of the adjoining suite. Curious, Harlan kneels down to the old skeleton keyhole fixture to investigate the disturbance. Through the keyhole, he sees a gaunt, very pale, nude young woman sitting in a chair. From the trembling in her back it appears as though she is crying. Harlan pulls himself away from the keyhole. Ashamed of his voyeurism, he lunges for the gun. In a self- loathing rage, his mouth consumes the barrel. Just as he is about to pull the trigger, there is another noise, louder than before, from the adjoining suite. Distracted from his suicide attempt, Harlan scurries back to the keyhole and drops to his knees. This time Harlan sees a bright, glistening, kaleidoscope-like red. This intense red cues memories in Harlan that invoke a crescendo of emotion: a puddle of blood where Juliet had miscarried a child, Juliet's dead body after bleeding to death, a graveyard, and various images of loneliness. Emotionally and physically drained, Harlan crawls back to bed and passes out. Early the next morning, Harlan stumbles out of bed, grabs most of his things, and departs down the hallway to check out. Surprisingly, the Innkeeper is awake at this hour, and, in a discussion as to why, it is revealed that it's the anniversary of the day his daughter committed suicide in the motel. As Harlan looks over pictures scattered about the counter - snap shots of an obviously great life - Harlan sees proof of redemption from tragedy.... search for Almost Romeo on IMDb|
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