Cas & Dylan

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Cas & Dylan Movie Poster Image
Great actors stuck in predictable road-trip flick.
  • NR
  • 2015
  • 90 minutes

Parents say

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Kids say

age 17+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Explores the necessity of friendship, the idea that it's never too late to make a difference in someone's life, and the universal truth that it's important to leave unhealthy relationships behind. Heavier themes include suicide/dying with dignity, terminal illness, and unhealthy/abusive relationships.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Cas thinks Dylan should educate herself, pursue her writing, and stop lying and picking loser boyfriends. Dylan wants Cas to be honest with himself about why he wants to die rather than fight for what little time he has left.

Violence

Dylan's abusive boyfriend runs out of their place waving a gun at her. Cas and Dylan believe they've killed someone after an accidental hit and run. A character's beloved dog dies.

Sex

References to sex; a man assumes Dylan is a prostitute and tries to get in on the "action" until Cas sets him straight.

Language

Occasional strong language includes "s--t," "a--hole," "damn," "bulls--t."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Cas & Dylan is a quirky dramedy about strangers -- a terminally ill older doctor and an eccentric young writer -- who go on an expected road trip together. Directed by former 90210 actor Jason Priestley before star Tatiana Maslany became well known for her show Orphan Black, the movie has dark humor and mature themes (suicide/dying with dignity, the assumption of a May-December romance, terminal illness, unhealthy/abusive relationships, and a threat of gun violence). There's also some violence that's played for humor (the characters are involved in a hit and run, threaten someone, and crash into a ravine), references to sex, and strong language, including "s--t."

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What's the story?

CAS & DYLAN is an odd-couple road-trip comedy about a cantankerous older doctor and a wisecracking young aspiring writer. Dr. Cas Pepper (yes, Dr. Pepper, played by Richard Dreyfuss) is a 61-year-old Winnipeg doctor who's just found out he has an inoperable brain tumor. After his beloved dog dies, he decides to take a one-way car trip to Vancouver, where he plans to bury the dog and commit suicide. But Cas' plans go awry when he meets eccentric 22-year-old romance-advenure writer Dylan (Tatiana Maslany), who wants to drive to Vancouver to meet with a publisher. First, though, she has to get stuff from her abusive ex's place, and he waves a gun at her. Cas and Dylan accidentally hit him as they drive away, forcing them to flee. As they drive across Canada, they bother and challenge each other.

Is it any good?

Dreyfuss and Maslany are both excellent actors: He's an Academy Award winner, and she basically teaches a master class in acting playing multiple clones in Orphan Black. Despite the potential for actorly chemistry in this movie, the bland, predictable screenplay makes it hard to excuse the thin material even if the actors are great. They have a couple of good conversations (he can't come up with a decent suicide note; she's a liar who can't really figure out how to get what she wants), and they share a touching evening having dinner with an old couple who've been married seemingly forever.

But otherwise, nothing truly funny, interesting, or life-changing happens along the way. Director Jason Priestley (of 90210 fame) obviously had good intentions to make a poignant little film, but it just doesn't quite work. Cas and Dylan are neither particularly likable, nor does their friendship blossom in a way that will endear them to audiences -- although at least by the end, Dylan is doing something smart for the first time in her young adult life.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about road-trip movies, and why they're so popular. What is it about people stuck in a vehicle together that brings out humor and tension? How does Cas & Dylan compare to other road-trip movies you've seen?

  • Odd-couple movies tend to involve two very different people who teach themselves something. How does that play out here?

  • Do you think this movie is a comedy, a drama, or both? Which elements make it feel more like a drama? Which are more comedic?

  • What role does violence play in the story? How does the impact change when violent scenes are played for humor?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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