Standing Still (NR) **

Jon Abrahams, Aaron Stanford, Mena Suvari, Melissa Sagemiller
Directed by Matthew Cole Weiss
7:30 p.m., Thursday, June 16; plus 1 p.m., Friday, June 17

It’d be nice to say that Standing Still,the first film from the Vegas-based production company Insomnia Entertainment, is a great piece of filmmaking that heralds the arrival of major talent from Sin City. It’d be nice, even, to say that Standing Still is a formulaic but entertaining mainstream film that will find success with middle-of-the-road moviegoers. Unfortunately, I can’t say either of those things about Standing Still, which given its lack of distribution even a year after its completion, is likely to go down as neither an artistically nor commercially successful first venture.

Trying hard to be The Big Chill for a new generation, Standing Still follows several friends reuniting for the wedding of two of their group. Although it boasts a number of telegenic young stars, some of whom (James Van Der Beek and Mena Suvari in particular) turn in strong performances, the film remains an ill-defined mishmash of clichés, with poorly sketched characters and leaden dialogue.

Like American Wedding with fewer poop jokes and more self-serious speeches about where people are headed in life, Standing Still doesn’t even manage enough cheap laughs to qualify for anything other than quick straight-to-video oblivion.
Josh Bell


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