It's the kind of movie that's rarely attempted these days--largely (and wonderfully) plotless, but more of a character study, and a look at a man who is alternately boorishly unbearable and extremely sweet. It's a film that owes much to the work of Cassavetes, and really, there are not too many of those being made (very few out there are even TRYING to imitate this master). Even though it centers in on David Stanton, an alcoholic salesman who's finding his home life being scattered by his own shortcomings, and his job being usurped by technology, it's a piece that has many fine roles for females in its orbit (really, there's a surplus of superlative actresses here), yet it mostly reminds one of Cassavetes' works, which more often than not centered in on the slipping away of male energy brought about by the pitiless passage of time. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes dour, and adorned with a memorably diverse score by Yoko Miwa, Travis' movie is the work of a journeyman character actor who, in searching for a more meaty middle-aged role, has forgone waiting for someone else to write it and instead scribes and spearheads it for himself. There are occasional directorial hiccups, but there are more notable flares of untamed brilliance (it's a movie that allows its many actors to show off their varied talents, whether they be playing music or various physical arts), and this makes the movie, in unexpected ways, a thrilling talent show. Many filmmakers have set out on this sort of path and failed. Greg Travis, however, has largely succeeded in providing inspiration for those who want to tell their own story, as well as to those who want to hear their own story told. MIDLIFE is currently available on various pay-per-view outlets, so check it out!

Dean Treadway, Movie Geeks Unlimited

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