Even though a health crisis is at the center of this relationship-driven dramedy, Shotgun is as far from a Nicholas Sparks film as it gets.
Elliott (Jeremy Allen White) works behind a sandwich counter with his roommate and best friend, Nico (DeRon Horton). It’s all fun and games for the two of them–drinking or getting high–until Elliott learns he is suffering from a rare diagnosis of Ewing’s sarcoma. There’s a lot of nitty-gritty detail about the disease but that’s beside the point. Elliott fights the battle along side Mia (Maika Monroe), who he meets at a New York subway stop. Knowing that he’s sick, he asks her out and the two begin a relationship.
The filmmakers make sure that Elliott’s cancer isn’t a gimmick. Again, not a Sparks movie. Ewing’s sarcoma plays a big role in the film much like Emily’s illness in The Big Sick. To their credit both Jeremy and Maika have great chemistry on screen.
Shotgun is a solid feature directorial debut for co-directors Hannah Marks and Joey Power. The film doesn’t go for all-out tearjerker in a way that one would expect tend to expect a Nicholas Sparks film. One has to be able to find humor while battling a serious illness and that’s exactly what happens with this film.
DIRECTORS/SCREENWRITERS: Hannah Marks and Joey Power
CAST: Maika Monroe, Jeremy Allen White, DeRon Horton, Marisa Tomei, Sasha Lane, Joe Keery, Gina Gershon, Dean Winters, Olivia Luccardi
An official selection of the 2018 Chicago Critics Film Festival, Shotgun premiered at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival in the U.S. Narrative Feature Competition program. Good Deed Entertainment just acquired U.S. distribution rights.