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"A roadtripper with miles of laughter and pathos"
Alex Kecskes, Aced Magazine
"Breakfast Club in a Car"
Alan Ng, Film Threat
"One of the best road movies I've seen in years"
Bruce Von Stiers, BVS Reviews
Starring: Lynn Chen, Jonathan Lipnicki, Dreama Walker, Jordan Carlos & Taryn Manning
"My thirty-something friend and I were in a Lyft on our way to dinner. I began chatting up the driver as I often do since making random connections is a favorite pastime of mine. I have met many interesting rideshare drivers in Los Angeles – a flat-earther, a musician, a former studio executive, a local politician… Ours did not disappoint. In his late twenties, we easily engaged in conversation that touched on philosophy, feminism, science fiction and anarchy. He was a film director who proudly identified as a recalcitrant.
We were mid conversation on Plato when we arrived at our destination... so I asked our driver to join. Only momentarily thrown by the offer, he also was not ready to end the conversation, so said “sure!”
The dinner conversation flowed when our driver suddenly announced: “My friend found love in Paradise!” He had our attention. We were intrigued – of course. He shared the story of his buddy who had stupidly cheated on his girlfriend. Unable to forgive, she broke up with him, and moved back home to Paradise, Nevada. Full of regrets, his friend quit his job in L.A. and moved to Paradise to win her back. Now, a year later, they were getting married. As a hopeful romantic, I was taken by this bittersweet love story, but as a pragmatic (cheerful) nihilist, our driver was unsure if it was actually a good thing.
Our dinner had ended, my friends had peeled off, but the driver and I continued to talk until the wee hours that ended when realized we had to get up very early that morning – me to fly home to NYC.
That night and the Paradise story morphed into this road movie. The characters are loosely based on the four diners composited with other older millennial friends of mine who, like them, were grappling with ‘adulting’ existential dread as experienced by their generation: when to give up on a dream, student loan debt, fourth wave feminism, identity, making ends meet in today's gig economy, and finding real connection.
This movie is about my fictional foursome finding the courage to be vulnerable, the power to forgive and selflessness to accept and honor all kinds of love - romantic, familial, friend and of oneself. That is Paradise."