Drunk Bus

Co-directors Brandon LaGanke and John Carlucci bring us this college comedy which reminds me of those from that genre made in the 1980s. Not too heavy on story, but has enough going on that it keeps you interested. Plenty of hijinx or crazy situations. Some drinking. Some sex. Laughs. Silly situations. And lots of conversation. Type of film in which you don’t find it odd that a just graduated college guy features opposite a man mountain Samoan named Pineapple.

This is the debut film for LaGanke and Carlucci. Though there are some bumpy moments I chalk it up to a lack of budget rather than talent or vision. They manage to keep us invested in a film in which a majority of it takes place on a bus. And I don’t mean in a Speed kind of way. This is not a film predicated on action or keeping the bus going over 50 miles an hour. It is more a coming of age or young man on the verge of adulthood type film. Done comedy style.

He has recently graduated from college in Kent, Ohio, but instead of moving on to the next phase of his life, Michael (Charlie Tahan – from television’s Ozark) is aimless…a young man with no direction. He doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life and that feeling is compounded by the fact that his longterm girlfriend, Amy (Sarah Mezzanotte – appeared in episodes of Law and Order: SVU and Royal Pains), has moved to New York City to work. So he continues to be a driver on the campus loop bus. Not exactly what a bright future is built upon.

Rather timid in nature plenty of abuse is heaped upon him during his night shifts driving the bus. Michael silently deals with drunks and frat boys. One night he gets beaten up and that leads to the bus company hiring a security guard. The guy is an intimidating 300 pound Samoan with plenty of piercings and face tattoos. Funnily enough his name is Pineapple (Pineapple Tangaroa – Injustice, Song to Song).

After an awkward start the two become friendly. They have plenty of time to talk while Michael drives the bus. Each has met the right person at the right time in their lives.

Plenty of the modern day college set films are really unrealistic. Such is not the case here. Right at the beginning it says “based on real shit”. That is the total feel of the film cause it is based on co-director Brandon LaGanke’s life. In our own ways we are all quirky and apathetic. Especially around this time in our lives. Many of the laughs here will come as a result of the relatability. Scenes or conversations will remind you of ones you yourself have had.

For most of us our lives or futures are unknown. But when we are younger everything seems so big. Even if they really aren’t. So this is a cool film about that point in most of our lives. It is relatable though it takes things up a notch especially via the comedic moments involved.

Moving on in life is also a big theme. Shows you have to get outside your comfort zone to do so, though. Take risks, people! Or you are just gonna find yourself stagnate. We see that nothing is so big that you cannot move on. Taking that first step is scary, but necessary and it will lead you down a good path – moving forward.

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