D Train, The : Movie Review

The D Train (2015) - Movie PosterThere have been plenty of movies revolving around high school reunions (among them, 1982's "National Lampoon's Class Reunion," 1986's "Peggy Sue Got Married," 1996's "Beautiful Girls," 1997's "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion," that same year's "Grosse Pointe Blank," 2012's "10 Years," and 2012's "American Reunion"), but few have had quite as forlorn a heart as first-time directors Andrew Mogel and Jarrad Paul's "The D Train." Oh, and it's a comedy, albeit a progressively dark one surfing on a wave of audience discomfort and concern for its sad-sack protagonist, small-town accountant Dan Landsman (Jack Black). Arrestingly written by Mogel and Paul, the film shatters expectations at around the 30-minute mark and keeps surprising thereafter, refusing to contrive an easy way out for one character who no longer seems to know who he is and another who plays the part of a hotshot while masking his own insecurities.

The 20-year reunion of Grant Barklidge High's Class of 1994 is fast approaching, and committee member Dan is still struggling for acceptance with the former peers he has only vaguely kept in touch. If making friends has never been his strong suit, he does have supportive wife Stacey (Kathryn Hahn), sensitive 14-year-old son Zach (Russell Posner), and a new baby at home. When Dan stumbles upon a familiar face late one night in a sunscreen commercial, he is more than a little excited to discover it is Oliver Lawless (James Marsden), one of the most popular kids from his high school class. Hoping to finally garner the respect of the committee and inspire more people to attend the reunion, Dan concocts a bogus excuse for a business trip so that he can head to Los Angeles to seek out his "celebrity" classmate and convince him to attend. When Dan meets Oliver for drinks, he tries to play it cool but cannot help but be in awe of this handsome, seemingly self-assured man who knew what he wanted out of life and wasn't about to let his Pittsburgh hometown keep him from it. The two of them hit it off better than Dan could possibly anticipate, but he is left desperately confused by what ultimately transpires between them before his time on the west coast comes to a close.

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Author : Dustin Putman, TheFilmFile.com.