Review by Beth
Star (Sasha Lane) is stuck in a small town, taking care of her younger brother and sister, and the film alludes that she is sexual abused by a man that lives in the household. It is clear that Star’s mother wants little to do with her young siblings. So it is no wonder that when a van full of energetic, loud, alternative young adults pull into a store parking lot, they have Star’s attention. One particular teen captivates Star, the rebellious Jake (Shia LaBeouf). Jake tells Start to meet him at the Motel 6 if she wants to go leave with them the next day. It takes little convincing for Star to abandon her life and go on an adventure with the van full strangers. These rambunctious teens travel around to different cities selling magazines and staying in various shady motels, while getting to know each other’s backgrounds and stories. This story of hardship, love, adventure, and coming of age will appeal to a young and older audience.
I was intrigued with this movie from the beginning because it was reminiscent of the film Kids (1995) that I enjoyed as a young adult. I think we can all relate to a time in our lives when we just wanted to escape and that’s just what the character in this film does. She escapes her life and goes into the unknown. While Star makes poor decisions along the way, you sympathize with why she is making these decisions and admire her strength. I particularly loved the scenes filmed in Kansas City: from the beautiful homes in Mission Hills to the shadier motels off some of our interstates.