Prince Avalanche (2013)

26 Jan

If Emile Hirsch and Paul Rudd get stuck in the woods, does it make for a good movie?

This is the question Prince Avalanche asks of us, and the answer is a resounding yes.  The film is a low-budget bromance that focuses on the relationship of two road workers revamping Texas roads after a forest fire wipes them out.

Spending weeks at a time isolated from society, our two protagonists get to know each other very well, and talk about everything and anything together – but mostly women.  Alvin, (Paul Rudd) is dating Lance’s (Emile Hirsch) older sister Madison, while Lance is constantly looking forward to the day when he can leave the forest and head back into the city where all the girls are.

The pair of actors are wonderful together, and it’s their comical and engaging interactions that provide the framework for this movie.  Director David Gordon Greene (The Sitter, Pineapple Express) is no stranger to comedy, and there are some brilliantly funny moments in Prince Avalanche, but the humor never takes full focus.  There are long, meditative shots of nature mixed in with some great dramatic events that make this film a more reflective piece than a funny one.

Unfortunately, there is a bit of empty space, and some scenes drag on longer than they should. There is also this sub-plot involving an older alcoholic character that never really goes anywhere.  Despite it’s flaws, the highs and lows in Alvin and Lance’s relationship make for a charming and inspirational story.  Prince Avalanche is whole-heartedly an entertaining film that finds that rare sweet spot between the heart and funny bone.

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Rating: 7/10 

Similar to: Ghost World, Up in the Air, Lars and the Real Girl

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