My Rating: ✮✮✮✮✰
I just finished watching this film and to be honest, the poster and the title wasn't really too catchy for me, but I gave it a chance because Dean Norris (Better known as DEA Agent Hank Schrader for you Breaking Bad fans out there.) was cast as one of the lead actors in the film, alongside Christopher Meloni (Det. Elliot Stabler from the TV Series, Law and Order) and Devon Bostick (Rodrick Heffley from Diary Of A Wimpy Kid). Special mention to Amaury Nolasco (Orange Julius from 2 Fast 2 Furious), Xander Berkley (Henry Hurt from Apollo 13) and Bridget Moynahan (Helen from John Wick). The story basically revolves around a divorced co-owner of a used car lot whose son decides to skip College to come work for him on the car lot as a salesman despite the adamant resistance of his mother. The film is set in a time when smartphones didn't exist and having a cordless phone with the pull out antenna was considered a luxury, when . As expected, Dean Norris played his role quite exceptionally alongside his other co-stars, there was good chemistry between the the two lead salesmen especially in the scenes where they work in tandem to close a sale, I would have probably bought a used car from them. Personally, the camera angles employed were fairly simple but were maximized to good effect and weren't overly done. The film had a very natural feel to it in terms of lighting and warmth. Overall, I think it was very well made. The film is about 1 hour and 30 minutes long which is perfect for me given the flow of the story, it wasn't too short so it didn't feel rushed and it wasn't too long for the depth of story where it just becomes dragging.
I could personally relate to this film being in the field of sales as well (I'm a Financial Adviser for a Life Insurance company, part of our role is to sell our products.) so I was able to put myself in their shoes somehow, especially during the scenes that wherein the actors were making sales or attempting to make sales. Of course, the style of sales employed in the film is different from the life insurance industry (tangible product vs intangible product), it's still something that is relatable, specifically the scenes wherein the salesmen were rejected and the elated feeling they had when they made a sale. I especially like this scene wherein Freddy (Devon Bostick) and his father Al (Christopher Meloni) were at home and Freddy was telling his dad how amazed he was by how well they (Al and Ash [Dean Norris]) spoke and made sales, he referred to them as "geniuses" and Al simply told him "Trust me, we're not. We're hungry. We close deals or we don't eat." which is similar to something a good friend of mine told me when he was starting out in the Life Insurance industry and he's now gone on to be one of the very best Financial Advisers in the field today. Another part of the film that I liked was again, another conversation between father and son, they were talking about life and how it can be complicated, it's something that made me smile and feel understood, hearing the lines "Sometimes it's really shitty. Sometimes it's miraculous". This movie is by no means a father and son tearjerker film but it is a feel good movie that's rolled into a partially serious and partially witty and humorous package that will leave you with some lessons about life and a few quotable quotes.
Whether you're a salesman or just a man (or woman) looking for an enjoyable film, I'd recommend the film, Small Time.
Thanks for reading!