2015 Los Angeles Film Festival Review: Frank and Cindy

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Based on a true story and originally produced as a a documentary in 2007, 80’s one hit-wonder Frank Garcia married Cindy Brown.  Cindy,  convinced Frank would be go on to be a huge rock star and that the two of them would be living the life we often see nowadays captured on reality shows is gravely let down.

Neither one of them end up with the life or the person they thought they married and neither does Cindy’son G.J. (short for Gilbert John).  G.J. winds up with a Dad who lives in a trailer park with cats, a Mom, whose teeth are jacked up while yelling most of her conversation and a Step-Dad who stays drunk to drown out the pain of his glory days never be relived coupled with the disappointment that he basically is a has been on the music scene.

G.J. feels all is lost when he discovers that he Mom has blown his Art Center tuition on recording equipment for Frank. So, filming his family unravel becomes therapy for that loss and consequently becomes the thread which brings them all together and creating a filmmaker out of G.J.

Sounds depressing right?  It’s actually quite comical and heartwarming thanks in part to  the performances of Rene Russo, Oliver Platt and Marc Meron.  This gifted lot take on the personalities of these real-life characters and breath fresh air into lives that could have easily become cartoonish.

Today, G.J. was brave enough take his story to the big screen if for nothing else to prove that it is never to late to live a different, more fulfilling type of life.  His Mom, no longer drinks and currently works for legendary movie producer Roger Corman.  Frank, ironically, gets a job at the Art Center, writes songs for his “Beatles Band” and scores monster movies for Cindy’s boss – Roger Corman.

Frank and Cindy remind me so much of the show that I adore on ABC called The Goldbergs, in which Gary Goldberg documents is whole adolescence while growing up in the 70’s.  Nostalgia wise…it’s hilarious, but reminds you that every family has similar characters no matter where they come from.

Frank and Cindy made it premiere at the 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival on June 16th

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