Where I Watched it: Hulu
English Audio Description Provided By: Deluxe
Narrated By: Christian Simpson
There’s something to be said about how the cinematic release of a film helps to create an aura of importance that pushes a film further into the watercooler conversation. in a world where it’s harder and harder to have those watercooler moments as streaming shapes the game, it’s sad to see a movie like Rye lane relegated to hulu. It almost certainly lost any steam it had coming out of the Sundance Film Festival, and has become a film that few will actually see.
Every generation has these films, touchstones that speak to the young twenty-something’s that are navigating a work/life balance, and figuring out how to live their post-college life. Before Sunrise was definitely one of those films, and Richard Linklater had already reached that audience before with Dazed and Confused. But in before Sunrise, he took two single young adults out for a stroll, and the art house world paid attention.
Rye Lane owes a lot to that format, but it also seems so much like the 2023 version of that film. Like a director who grew up on Linklater, and likely also the films of John Hughes, felt the best way to express themselves through film was this random encounter chance meeting that goes off on its own specific journey. It’s a lot rowdier than Before Sunrise, and for good reason.
It feels like this generation is ready for a rowdier version. This is a generation that doesn’t bump into their one true love on a train, they have location based dating apps. They don’t get a glass of wine, they get wasted. It’s almost as if Dazed and Confused had a film child with Before Sunrise, but a British love child.
This is not a format that is so incredibly unique that it is limited to just these two films. hell, arguably last year Kaley Cuoco and pete Davidson tried to ahve a very screwed up version of this relationship in NeetCute. But, that wasn’t very good, and Rye Lane isn’t perfect. Yet somehow, I can’t shake the feeling that if Rye lane was given the kind of exposure it deserves, it couldn’t gain a following much like Mallrats or The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, just for the embodiment of the generation it represents.
For the blind community, audio description here is key. There are interactions that happen throughout the film that you won’t want to miss, as well as reactions to things said. These characters are incredibly flawed and don’t always get it right. The entire catalyst for the film is based on a visual cue, and without that cue in the audio description, I can’t even imagine what I would ahve thought.
Luckily, the dependable folks at Deluxe have provided us with some solid audio description. There’s a lot of dialogue here, so it’s not a description heavy film, but it is a modern set film with a relatively small cast. It’s easy to follow and pick up with the description given. We might all want or look for something different, and while it’s always true that as a blind critic, i can never 100% attest to the accuracy of audio description for visual elements I haven’t personally seen, I never felt lost.
I did just feel like this was one of another film like this, just slightly more representative of this current generation.
Final Grade: B+