A titillating California drama with splashes of unexpected humor. Or maybe it’s the other way around. The gist: a divorced mother attempts to break up her daughter’s relationship. Maybe it’s to protect her... or maybe it’s out of jealousy. The handsome, smooth-talking boyfriend named Whit seems to spend as much time flirting with the mother, Beth, as he does the daughter, Sara. To divert attention, Beth suggests a mother and daughter trip to the hot springs spa near Santa Cruz, just the two of them. But Sara has no interest, “It’s just too much for me right now.” Instead she’s been scheming to forgo her college plans and commit to a half-baked “eco-dome” project with Whit to gain life experience. “I don’t wanna be another stupid, rich white girl in private school.” Sara's dad seems okay diverting money from the college fund to help establish this eco-dome village, but Beth says no and vows to prevent it. The results are riveting, and there’s also a knowing wink of acknowledgment about the sleaziness inherent in the set-up. The film doesn’t take itself too seriously, but it does deliver on its premise. Director Joey Izzo is in complete command — there’s never a wasted moment. And the performances are outstanding: Beth Lisick portrays the stressed-out mother exuding vulnerability, confusion and loneliness. Whitmer Thomas playing Whit adds humor as the charismatic but threatening new boyfriend. And Esther Povitsky tenderly portrays a teen finding life purpose under the spell of first love. -KA.
Written, Directed and Edited by Joey Izzo. Starring Beth Lisick, Whitmer Thomas, and Esther Povitsky.