Produced by Keaton Heinrichs,
Akiva Nemetsky, Jake White
Written and Directed by
Ariel Gardner and Alex Kavutskiy
Starring Chase Fein, Nichole Bagby,
Kate Freund, Audrey Whitby, Curt Neill,
Aaron Kee, Anna Seregina, Graham Clarke
Nathan Graham Smith, DeMorge Brown
On the Rocks, the debut feature by first-timers Alex Kavutskiy & Ariel Gardner, is the story of recovering alcoholic Dallas (Chase Fein) and his exceedingly needy wife Karen (Nichole Bagby).
After his father dies, Dallas moves himself and a reluctant Karen into his childhood home, ready to start the next chapter of their lives. But with every step Dallas takes toward stability and growth, Karen’s immaturity, her insane family’s intrusion, and the demands of his own work life undercut his progress.
In fact, every hiccup in his life seems to escalate into a massive crisis, taking him on a crazy roller coaster ride of emotions and reactions.
The best way I can think of to summarize what watching On the Rocks is like is this: You know when you’re driving down the freeway and there’s a big accident up ahead… and you know it’s not ideal to slow down and see what’s going on but you do anyway? And you even find yourself looking in your rearview mirror after you pass it? That accident was pretty terrible and it sort of stays with you for the rest of the day…
The characters portrayed in On the Rocks are the worst people ever and watching them essentially trip and fall through their lives in the 90 minutes of this film is excruciating but also, you just can’t stop watching.
Karen is especially awful and brings new meaning to the descriptor “self-centered” managing to make everything happening to Dallas about her, including his father’s death. And even in the moments when Dallas gives in to her ego, she finds a way to skip over gratitude and throw it back in his face like a big, streaming pile of garbage. She has two sisters that are almost as terrible but at least she has them because it doesn’t seem likely that Karen has a lot of friends….
Throughout the film you pray for Dallas’ sweet release – and maybe for a truck to run Karen over. In truth, the best worst part of this movie is it’s truth; that we all know people like this. That we all have that person in our life we cannot get away from.