SFF Film Review: 'Not Waving, but Drowning'


SFF Film Review: 'Not Waving, but Drowning'


Date: April 22, 2012
by: Mallory Gnaegy | Community Editor


Writer-Director Devyn Waitt’s first festival screening of her film “Not Waving, but Drowning” was at SFF 2012. And it was excellent.

This film perfectly encapsulates the common feeling for young adults: leaving what one knows for unchartered territory. It follows two best friends from small town Pinellas County, FL, who plan to move to The Big Apple when an unexpected turn of events takes place.

A blonde, adventure-seeking Adele travels to New York City to start a new chapter of her life. A great scene captures her arrival to the city; grinning ear-to-ear as she lugs her suitcases from the subway (she has a stranger do the heavy lifting), quickly realizing she must wait on the front stoop for a day while bums laugh at her. It’s the subtle humor and representation of the love-hate relationship a person coming of age might find when struggling to survive in any big or new city.

And Ray is stunning in her portrayal. She manages the annoying, naïve charm but proves she’s got more to offer. She’s the champion of the film, inducing smiles at times and hopeful sighs at others.

Soft-spoken, loyal Sara (Megan Guinan) stays behind for a tame life living with her parents, working at a senior retirement home. She befriends spitfire Sylvia (Lynn Cohen), who teaches her valuable lessons along the way.

The angles the film manages to capture are interesting and play to the warm colors the film takes. It’s impressive work for such newbies in the industry. The soundtrack plays to what the characters themselves would be listening to, and really captures the spirit of the film especially when paired with the stylish, broke-chic wardrobe.

This film is fantastic from every angle. The narrative is strong, fresh and has some zesty one-line zingers. This film is for the young and the young at heart or anyone who’s ever felt pulled to start-over somewhere new.

Contact Mallory Gnaegy at mgnaegy@yourobserver.com.


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