Offering a foreigner’s-eye view of Colombia different from the usual drugs, violence and squalor, writer-director-star Ryan Byrne’s promising “A Colombia” follows two young, directionless Yanks there for an unlikely vacation. Likeable, leisurely tale, which won an Audience Award at Cinequest, overcompensates with a little too much tear-jerking incident at the end, but should attract some fest and DVD exposure while providing makers a solid calling card.
Crosscutting intro suggests party animals Dunkin (Terrence Bergeron) and Jay (Byrne) aren’t running toward exotic adventure so much as running away from problems at home. The lifelong pals land in Bogota, where reckless Dunkin loses his passport and funds. As a result, the duo misses their return plane, ending up in the countryside where they meet an idealistic plantation owner (Giovanni Franco) who drives them to Medellin — and whom they unintentionally get in big trouble after a cocaine binge. Scurrying back to Bogota, the lads both find potential true love. But Dunkin’s self-destructive tendencies result in a borderline-maudlin climax. Purportedly based on a true story, pic is well acted, shot and observed, though the script could have used another polish.