An agreeable tone and cast make "Sherman's Way" go down easy.

An agreeable tone and cast make “Sherman’s Way” go down easy. Still, nothing strays far from odd-couple formulaics as an uptight Ivy Leaguer gets psychic bolts loosened by road-tripping with a genial bum (a Kevin Costner-ish role played with relish by James LeGros). Pleasant little indie, which shared Cinequest’s audience award with “The Village Barbershop,” probably lacks the distinctiveness and star power to tempt much theatrical-distrib interest, but is likeable and polished enough for exposure in smallscreen formats.

Short-leashed by his hard-driving Manhattan lawyer/politico mum and told he lacks spontaneity by his girlfriend, Sherman (Michael Shulman) rebels by bolting to the latter’s Napa Valley home for the summer. Unfortunately, he arrives just in time to witness her reunion with a hunky local b.f. Leaving in a snit, and still trying to prove he can be impulsive, he hitches a ride with the next car that goes by. It happens to be a vintage cherry-red convertible driven — and possibly stolen — by ex-Olympic skier Palmer (LeGros), Sherman’s ne’er-do-well opposite. Amiable, well-crafted if unoriginal comedy features Enrico Colantoni as Palmer’s laid-back bud and Brooke Nevin as Sherman’s new quirky-girl romantic interest.

Sherman's Way


A Starry Night Entertainment production. Produced by Craig Saavedra, Michael Shulman, Tom Nance. Directed by Craig Saavedra. Screenplay, Tom Nance.


Camera (color, 16mm-to-HD), Joaquin Sedillo; editor, Christopher Gay; music, David Michael Frank; production designer, Laurent Turlure. Reviewed at Cinequest Film Festival (New Visions), San Jose, Feb. 29, 2008. Running time: 98 MIN.


James LeGros, Enrico Colantoni, Michael Shulman, Brooke Nevin, Donna Murphy, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Lacey Chabert, Tom Nance.
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