What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Prince Avalanche is an introspective look at two very real characters spending a summer alone together repairing a remote road that was damaged in a forest fire. Alvin (Paul Rudd) is arrogant and irritating, and he clearly feels superior to his partner, Lance (Emile Hirsh), whose main goal is meeting girls during his weekends in town. Expect some crude and crass talk about women and sex, a scene of implied masturbation (under sheets), some swearing ("p---y" is the worst of it), a few scenes with smoking, and one long sequence in which the main characters spend an afternoon getting sloppy drunk.
What's the story?
Alvin (Paul Rudd) and Lance (Emile Hirsh) form a two-man work crew, spending the summer alone in the woods repairing a road damaged by forest fire. For Alvin, it's a chance to commune with nature and better himself through solitary meditation. For Lance, who's also the brother of Alvin's girlfriend, it's just a job, and he lives for the weekends, when he can go to town and try to meet girls. It's a classic odd-couple setup, and both men are portrayed as realistic characters ... who happen to be totally insufferable. Alvin is an irritating know-it-all, unaware that he rubs just about everyone the wrong way. And Lance is kind of dim, not very sophisticated, and not very considerate. They don't become friends, exactly, but they do manage to grow when they're finally able to see themselves through each other's eyes.
Is it any good?
PRINCE AVALANCHE is a quiet film. Not a lot happens, and not a lot needs to happen. Alvin and Lance paint one yellow line after another on a road that seems to go on forever. They bicker, they seethe, they don't really make up. The next day they do it again. Yet they also start to grow on each other.
The audience also starts to see actual characters emerge, and the actors do a fine job of making Alvin and Lance into full-fledged human beings rather than caricatures. We don't necessarily come to like them, but, perhaps more importantly, we understand who they are. That understanding engenders sympathy for them and is what give the film its heart. The film may not be the most thrilling, but its authenticity hits the spot.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about what Prince Avalanche says about friendship. Do you think Alvin and Lance are friends? How will they react to each other when the job is done and they go their separate ways?
What do you think about Alvin's relationship with his girlfriend? What are the main issues in their relationship?