Dependent’s Day is a story about two young lovers living in L.A., leading two very different lives. The story, written and directed by Michael David Lynch, explores the ideas of co-dependency and pursuing dreams. The center piece of the film is the relationship between Cam (Joe Burke) and Alice (Benita Robledo). Although their love for each other is obviously strong, they’re at very different points in their lives. This is obviously causing some sort of identity crisis for Cam, evident in the opening scene.
The film starts off with Alice and Cam consulting with their accountant, preparing to file their yearly taxes. Alice is making well over six figures a year, with Cam barely scraping by. In an effort to maximize their returns, Alice suggests claiming Cam as a dependent. Although visually uncomfortable, Cam eventually agrees, thus setting the stage for this enjoyable romp through a relationship’s many turns. Cam is your typical starving artist, a hopeful actor struggling to find his break. Alice, on the other hand, is a successful fashion designer. One professional, one borderline juvenile, it’s an exciting dynamic.
Firstly, I would like to give credit to Michael David Lynch for creating a believable and realistic script. Although some of the motivations and plot devices can come off weak, the entirety of dialogue and conversations feel natural and engaging. This is in part due to the excellent cast, but the script is solid and needs to be acknowledged. From the clever and expertly timed comedic musings of Cam, to the emotional and confused confessions of Alice, each scene feels purposeful and important. I don’t consider myself a huge fan of romance films, but thanks to a healthy amount of wit and comedy, I was able to be consistently engaged with Dependent’s Day.
Speaking on the acting talent, the cast is top notch. Nearly every role is cast to perfection, from leads to sub-support. The two leads are absolutely fantastic, and I’m certainly interested to see where their careers will take them. Benita Robledo did an excellent job as Alice, asserting her dominance and maintaining her professional appearance all while being incredibly human. There was a few times in which I felt she overplayed her emotion, but for the most part Robledo proves her ability to appear honest.
The honesty pours out of Joe Burke‘s performance as Cam, arguably the more focal of the two. At its heart, Dependent’s Day is all about having a positive self image and doing the best you possibly can. Cam’s journey from (arguable) man-child to responsible adult is the platform for this message, and Joe Burke‘s performance bridges the relation between the story and the audience. Cam’s character is easy to empathize with, and I often found it easy to place myself in his shoes. Cam deals with plenty of issues including self doubt, social difficulty, and a lack of responsibility. It was a real treat to see Burke explore these feelings and let them shine through in his performance. Burke’s portrayal is one of the main reasons I was so invested in Cam’s happiness.
Independent film making can often be a bit muddy as far as cinematography goes, often with too much editing or a significant lack of it. However, there seems to be a great understanding of the camera’s function in relation to the story being told. Shots are mild and reserved, choosing to focus on characters and dialogue rather than stunning scenery. That’s not to say that the sets and design aren’t well composed; the entire film feels incredibly well put together. Instead, it shows a true understanding of how to utilize a camera. Far too often I see independent films using flashy movement or unnecessary editing. It was refreshing then to have a solid camera that knew when to stay still and hold focus.
In fact, I have few complaints with this movie. A lot of my issues with the film revolve around a major turn midway through the film, and I don’t want to spoil anything. Simply speaking, there were some quick decisions made that betrayed the inherent trust required for a relationship, especially one as fundamentally strong as Cam and Alice’s. Despite this off putting plot device, the rest of the film is nearly spotless. Sure, there’s some noticeable continuity errors, but these mistakes can be easily forgiven due to the overall quality of the film.
Dependent’s Day isn’t a cheesy rom-com, nor does it rely on incredibly adult humor. Instead, the film comes off very human and easy to relate to. If anything, it does a great job capturing true relationships and the struggles involved in maintaining them. Thanks to two great leads and a solid supporting cast, an intelligent script that only trips up a few times, and competent camera placement, Dependent’s Day winds up being a great piece of entertainment. A few small issues kept it from top shelf placement, but Dependent’s Day is a hell of a lot of fun and tells an important story about learning to accept yourself.
Movie Rating: 4 stars.
Movie Ratings Guide
1 Star = Unwatchable
2 Stars = Cannot Recommend
3 Stars = Would Watch Again
4 Stars = A Solid Movie
5 Stars = Must Own (DVD/Stream Download)
Watch Dependent’s Day at these locations:
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/movies/details?id=WB4jSPrkmCc
I’m a life long gamer and an overall media junkie. In addition to writing great articles like this, I host a gaming/comedy podcast called “Super Gamecast 64” available on iTunes and Stitcher. I also watch an unhealthy amount of movies, and try to spread as much love into the world as I can. Hope you enjoyed the content!