Making it in America: movie review of “American Dreamer”

Recommendation: 3/5 Stars, STREAM

Plot: “A down on his luck HAIL driver who makes extra cash chauffeuring a low-level drug dealer around town, finds himself in a serious financial bind and decides to kidnap the dealer’s child,” according to IMDB.

Review: For my 14th movie of the 2018 Los Angeles Film Festival, I set my sights on a picture about the struggle of making it in America and the lengths some people will go to just to survive. By doing so, I was treated to an eye-opening experience that kept me guessing the whole time.

“American Dreamer” stars Jim Gaffigan as you’ve never seen him before commanding the screen in a dramatic, dark and sullen role. Jim’s character, Cam, is a HAIL driver which is a lot like Uber or Lyft. Cam is estranged from his son, has lost his longtime job and has turned to rideshare work as a way to make ends meet. Cam is the very definition of a man down on his luck and trapped.

In an effort to keep his head above water, Cam chauffeurs a low-level drug dealer around town. This is when Cam concocts a horrible plan to kidnap the son of the drug dealer, use the child for ransom and get himself out of some deep financial trouble. Thanks to a horrible accident, very little of this goes as planned. It is here that you are left with a thought that will continue to linger long after the credits roll; no one in the unnerving film has any redeeming qualities.

Thinking a rival is behind the kidnapping, Cam’s boss explodes in violence as secrets are exposed and the truth is brought to the surface in ultimate irony.

“American Dreamer” is a unique idea that will leave you with an easy feeling. We would do ourselves justice to pay attention to these feelings.

We would also do justice to ourselves to pay close attention to the dramatic acting of Jim Gaffigan. If this movie is any indication, we can expect even better and bigger roles.

Be good to each other.