Daphne (Ariana DeBose) has it tough as she works a right shit job and has to care for her hard-luck momma (Sharon Washington). But all isn’t dumpster fires and frowns for our heroine, as she is having a secret fling with Roger (Matt Shingledecker), a dude in kind of a similar sitch as he is charged with caring for his old (literally) man… until Pops buys the farm that is.
We soon learn Rog has inherited a seaside beach house, and he drags ol’ Daphne out there where she meets Susanna (Steffanie Leigh); one of Roger’s exes. Now let me just say the film opens with a crime scene and we have to piece together who is the victim in that scenario… so put your weird-ass Sherlock Holmes hat on and try to cram those puzzle pieces together into some sort of clear picture!
While that set-up may seem to have some spark to it, I have to say Seaside is one sedate affair; like horse tranquilizer style sedate. Everyone in the cast (who I must say are quite good as far as acting chops are concerned), just kind of drift from one scenario to another, some of which would normally inspire heated emotion, with nary a hint of feeling. I hesitate to call this mumble-core filmmaking as the cast is stage trained and enunciate to clearly for that… but my lord do they drag ass through this thing at a slacker’s pace.
Adding to the malaise is the drab, at-times nearly monochromatic color palette, slow-burn pace of the narrative (which at times makes you really feel the film’s ninety minute runtime)… hell, even the score is bleak.
With all of that; I do have to reiterate; the cast in this thing is obviously talented, and writer/director Sam Zalutsky has the potential to make a great film… it’s just that Seaside is not that picture.