Cindy, Cindy, Cindy…..director/writer Cindy Jansen (Prince of Muck) of the film Chasing the Rain is directing her first feature here having just done a documentary previously and it is not exactly a stellar debut. Actually, it is the exact opposite. Film is definitely a director’s medium. The person behind the camera controls almost everything. The direction, mise en scene, tone, etc. With Jansen also having written the script all lands squarely on her shoulders. Triumph or failure.
Chasing the Rain reminds me of a bad movie of the week. Trying to get across a “message” while being hampered with below par acting talent and a restrictive budget. A delicate touch has to emanate from the director. No such luck for the film or viewer here.
Instead of using the KISS (keep it simple, stupid) method, Jansen seems to be aware of the sinking ship and so throws everything including the kitchen sink in there. There is too much going on. Yes, it is ok to have your protagonist have something to wage battle against, but keep a rein on things so it does not feel as overwhelming as a flea market in Marrakesh.
Photographer Eric (Matt Lanter – from television’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars) is in Africa volunteering with a clean water organization. He then returns back to the United States and tries to figure out what he is going to do with his life. He gets a job which is not exactly what he pictured for himself. He shares an appartment with a friend (Eric Tiede – appeared in episodes of Modern Family and 2 Broke Girls). Meets a girl (Hallee Hirsh – You’ve Got Mail, Happy Endings) who he seems to really like and gets along with her family. Life is going well until it isn’t.
A health issue and his past come up. Soon Eric is unrecognizable to all those who know him. All this leads to Eric losing his faith and his way in life.