SACRAMENTO, Calif. — First “Lady Bird” and now ... “Sacramento”?
The big tomato just keeps receiving cinematic nods, it seems, this time in a film that takes its name directly from California’s capital city.
Deadline broke the story on “Sacramento,” which is being billed as a road trip movie directed by Michael Angarano, and starring himself, along with Michael Cera and Maya Erskine.
The catch? The road trip in question only takes about six hours to complete, depending on your route of choice.
Here’s how Deadline described the plot of “Sacramento”:
“Due to shoot early next year, the film will follow Rickey, an energetic and free-spirited young man who convinces Glenn, his long-time friend who’s settled into domestic life, to go on an impromptu road trip from Los Angeles to Sacramento, bringing their past into question and their future into light.”
MOSTLY OUTSIDE THE CITY
That means, unlike Sacramento native Greta Gerwig’s Oscar-nominated film, the majority of “Sacramento” will presumably take place outside of the city itself.
But in just a few years, America’s Farm-To-Fork Capital may have its name forever tied to a piece of media that explores very little of its culture.
“Lady Bird,” in many respects, has become a symbol of pride for the city. It was, in Gerwig’s words, “a love letter to Sacramento.” And a lot of people here love it back.
What remains to be seen is who exactly Angarano is writing to in his second directorial project — and whether or not Sacramento is ready for another love.
Angarano’s directorial debut was “Avenues,” which he also wrote and starred in. The 2017 film runs an hour and 16 minutes and was rated a 6.3 out of 10 by reviewers on IMDb.
PICKING THE RIGHT ROAD
The reception of “Sacramento” will depend upon the route taken by the film’s protagonists. Not the path of their character development, mind you, but the literal road chosen for their brief expedition.
Two choices seem apparent: take Interstate 5 all the way up or reroute to Highway 99 for a drive through the Central Valley. Locals are split on that one, but one thing’s for certain — it’s not much of a drive either way.
Patrick Redford of Defector Media seemed to sum up the thoughts of many Californians.
“I am sorry but LA to Sacramento is not a road trip it’s like a medium long day of driving ... .” Redford wrote on Twitter.
Indeed. And it’s a drive that many in the Golden State take up on a semi-regular basis. On a good day, I-5 will get you from point A to point B in 5 ½ hours.
By definition, it is a trip via the road. But when we think of the road trip genre and its conventions, the journey is usually significantly longer, almost epic in scope. We think, perhaps, of the cross-country trek in Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road.” We do not generally envision six hours of travel.
But that is not to say that there are no destinations of interest to be seen over those six hours, give or take for traffic.
“If this movie doesn’t include a stop at the In-N-Out Burger in Kettleman City they’re filming it wrong,” Mike Naple wrote on Twitter.
That particular In-N-Out location is a favorite pit stop among travelers along I-5, and is practically the halfway point between Sacramento and Los Angeles — although if that’s the highlight of the trip, it might not be worth it after all.
If filmmakers decide instead to go with Highway 99, then audiences could get a glimpse of the Central Valley’s largest cities — Modesto, Merced, Fresno and even Bakersfield, which, by the by, made it into “On the Road.” Why not “Sacramento”?
Even Sacramento Film Commissioner Jennifer West had a take on “Sacramento,” and, like many others, predicted a rather slim role for the city itself in its namesake film.
“B Roll at best,” she said.