The Bicyclists, Indie Film Review

The Bicyclists, Indie Film Review

The Bicyclists, an indie film shot in Portland, Oregon in the summer of 2008, made its premiere debut at the Hollywood theater in Portland on April 10th, 2009.  This small budget film made a huge impression on its audience and bicyclists worldwide and will soon be hitting more local theaters all over the US as well as festivals all over the world.
 
The film’s tagline: A Love Story on Wheels is more than just that.  With a stellar, talented and surprisingly unknown cast, as well as an amazing script written by the brilliantly hip and bicyclist savvy, Carl Jameson, this will be one of the most captivating up and coming indie films of the year.

The Bicyclists (www.thebicyclists.com) was based off of the popular web series, The Bicyclist (www.thebicyclist.tv) which was more of a comedy series in its first year and more dramatic in its second year, but unlike the web series, the film itself has major depths and a surprising ending.  The producers went with most of the same cast from the web series for the feature film including the main characters: Conrad Miller, played by Jayme S. Hall and Steve Jones, played by Elle Poindexter with co-starring roles: Lissa Valentine played by Melissa Goad and Zack Dupree played by Paul Glazier. The film even has Portland’s real Schwinn bike gang, The Belligerantes (http://www.myspace.com/belligerantes) as well as local, but well known locations such as The Recyclery (http://www.therecyclery.com/) where they fix up used bikes and Tour De Crepes (http://www.tourdecrepes.blogspot.com/), Portland’s bike themed crepery. 

In the film, The Bicyclists, Conrad Miller leaves the comfort of his home and cheese farm in Wisconsin to travel around and explore life before he has to take over his parent’s cheese factory, which had been passed down from generation to generation.  Conrad who happens to be a bike mechanic gives himself 60 days to figure life out.  He lands in Portland, OR which is known for their bike friendly culture and falls in love with the city and eventually Steve Jones.  The awkward, silly and sometimes romantic flirting between the two draws you in and makes you hope that Conrad will stay even after his 60 days are up.  Also adding in great characterization and depth is another couple, this one hopeless; Lissa and Zack.  Unlike Conrad and Steve who are loving and affectionate (and whom by which also have great on-screen chemistry), the tension between Lissa and Zack is so deep you could cut it with a knife, in fact, Lissa tries, but on her arms and body instead (yes, she is indeed a cutter), which brings in an even more dramatic turn to the film.  Within the first ten minutes of the film, you find out that Steve and Lissa used to be good friends, but due to Lissa’s constant unhappiness and Steve’s unwillingness to find love, they have a hard time seeing eye to eye.  Instead Conrad befriends Lissa, a friendship needed desperately by both. Steve and Zack are so close they’ve either previously dated or could be brother and sister with their back and fourth bantering.  Throughout the film, Jameson ties in a younger “Steve and Conrad” which fills in some of the missing pieces and adds a touch of innocence to the film.  The real catcher though, is the ending.  There is a huge twist that you would never see coming.  It ties up the film beautifully and gives you a new found respect for the bike culture. 

I enjoyed this indie feature film and I cannot wait to see where it goes next.