I really wasn’t sure what to expect from something called an “improvisational comedy.” What I got was a movie much funnier and more entertaining than I expected it to be.
Fitz (James Pumphrey) is a pot-smoking drummer with a girlfriend he loves. Generally, he’s happy with his life. Then, both of his other bandmates leave the band, and Fitz is reduced to selling pot out of his garage (though he insists he isn’t a dealer).
When he suspects he’s about to get busted by the police, he tosses all his drugs and heads to Oakland until the heat dies down, though he somewhat-accidentally brings his 16-year-old friend, Jimmy (Dylan O’Brien), along with him.
It’s a comedy of errors that gets Fitz and Jimmy on the road to Oakland, with Jimmy’s dad (Rob Riggle) and Officer Fogerty (Joe Lo Truglio) in hot pursuit. Fitz doesn’t actually need to go on the run (which we know, but he sure as hell doesn’t), but at the same time, it may be the best thing that’s happened to him. It really forces him outside of his comfort zone, and maybe, just maybe, he’ll grow up a little during it.
He and Jimmy develop a funny brotherly relationship, although who’s the older brother is up for debate, depending on the scene. 🙂
Jimmy’s dad and Fogerty were hilarious (keep watching during the credits; Jimmy, his dad, and Fogerty have a great final scene). On the one hand, I could totally understand why his dad was so worried, but at the same time I kept waiting for them to accidentally kill someone.
Fogerty was brilliant at the “making it worse” thing, which alternated between being hysterical and me just wanting to beg him to think before he spoke JUST ONE TIME. (Spoiler: He never does. It remains funny.)
Also, Ed Helms was just spot-on as Monica’s creepy boss, Barry. Their interactions had me laughing and squirming at the same time. And I liked Monica’s road trip (trying to track Fitz down) almost as much as Fitz and Jimmy’s.
The comedy style definitely isn’t for everyone. I thought it was hilarious for the most part, but there were a couple of times it felt like the jokes went on just a little too long, which is perhaps a function of the improv style of the movie. (At that point, I was glad I was drinking, because where normally that would have grated on me, being not-sober helped me tolerate it better.)
High Road is relatively short (running just under 90 minutes) and unexpectedly entertaining. And last I checked, it’s still available on Netflix Instant. If it sounds like your cup of tea, then go forth and enjoy. And if you’re not sure, give it a chance.