The Way of Dale

One thing stuck out immediately to me as I watched The Way of Dale. This movie looks fantastic. Many short films have (understandably) limited budgets. You judge them on the script and the acting, not necessarily on whether the movie looks like they spent a ton of money on it. Hey, just look at Clerks. The Way of Dale looks like they spent a ton of money on it. The sets are suitably white-trashy, and the quality of the picture is phenomenal.

The good news is that The Way of Dale is not a sucky movie. Writer/director Andrew Shearer has made a quick look into the life of Dale (Jad Mager, Big City Blues, Cowboy Bebop: The Movie), an all-around Southern loser. Dale is a cranky, lazy idiot that drinks beer all day in his trailer, while everybody around him works. He is cheating on his wife Christy (Jennifer Bishton) with his best friend and neighbor Eber's (Steven Lee Allen) wife Rae (Lynn Holly Robertson).

Sprinkled throughout the random cussing is some amusing humor, particularly from Dale's mouth. There are two especially funny lines, one about laziness and domestic abuse (yes, it's actually funny) and the second about Dale's future in cheating. I would quote them, but hey, that would ruin the chance to watch it. And Shearer makes sure that there is a point to all this. An event happens that forces Dale to break out of his complacency and examine the life he lives. In this moment of clarity, Dale has the chance to make a change for the better. It's still hard to even want to like Dale at the end of the film, and it's not clear if things will get better, but Shearer shows that Dale does have something more to him than just anger and beer.

Mongoose Rates It: Not Bad.
22 minutes, Not Rated but contains language and some sensuality, probably an R, possibly a PG-13.

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