Think back to high school (or maybe even college for some of us) to your first time. That’s right. Go ahead and take a few moments to reminisce, pleasantly or comically, but hopefully not tragically, to when you lost your virginity. Are you back? Ok, now imagine you had the opportunity to re-do that first encounter…and do it better! That’s the premise of the new film written by Gina Field, Kevin Foxe, and Ryan Francis called “Do Over.”
In “Do Over,” the ultra-successful Sean (Drew Seeley) moves back home to reconnect with his friends in L.A. 13 years after graduation. All of the friends are in different places in their lives, trying to move forward, but just not progressing. When a friend suggests having a “do over,” they all plunge head first as they look back to their high school encounter, to right some wrongs and perhaps allow themselves to move on with their lives. Each young man has a very different personality making their journey backward in time quite the comedic and at times, sweet adventure.
Sean has never gotten past Gina (Field) and his regrets go much deeper than the superficial exploits of his pals. From the Cougar-loving Anthony (Jonathan Bennett) to the misadventures of Ryan (Zack Lively) and everything in between, we find humor and empathy as well as sympathy for each of them. The conversations among the friends are realistic and open, exactly what you might encounter with your friends, sitting back and drinking a beer. Although this is probably intended for the 20- 30- somethings, we’ve all had a first time and memories come flooding back as you watch this film, making it an enjoyable watch for any age.
Seeley creates a likable character that we can all identify with…he’s searching for more meaning in his life which brings us closer to him. His endearing charm and intelligence balances some of the entertainingly quirky aspects of his friends as they all grow and learn about who they are and what’s important in life. The strong female characters portrayed in this film are truly refreshing with Gina, the mature beyond her years young woman who, against all odds, has become successful given her hurdles. Then we have Angela, the typical girl buddy who flies under the radar with the guys, but to the viewer she is a bright light, ever pulling the strings on these puppets before her, aka “the guys.”
Having a chance to talk with Field who starred in as well as co-wrote the film, her passion for story-telling is immediately evident with the enthusiasm in her voice. She couldn’t believe this topic hadn’t already become a film. Coming up with the concept began by following her rule of always keeping her eyes and ears open. Just a couple of years ago, while at a hair salon, Gina was conversing with her Australian hairdresser who had just returned from vacation in his homeland. While there, the Aussie told Gina, he hooked up with a girl that he had dated when he was younger to make things right as he “…kind of regretted how things went the first time.” Gina continued, “…things went much better the second time around [for him].” And that was how this ingeniously funny film was consummated. Wearing so many hats within this film seemed quite natural for Field who is also a mother as multi-tasking is a prerequisite in motherhood as well as filmmaking. It’s quite apparent that she juggled each role wonderfully. (To listen to the entire interview, go HERE )
“Do Over” brings us back to one of the most memorable times in our lives, no matter our age at this point in life. Using humor and insight with very unique, but realistic main characters, we see resolution, acceptance, and growth while we laugh. Like so many of us, when we were young we made mistakes, but how many of us get to try to make things right? “Do Over” allows us to imagine the possibilities as we live vicariously through the characters in this entertaining and inventive story.