CCFF 2018: Shotgun

Maika Monroe and Jeremy Allen White in SHOTGUN. Photo Credit: Shotgun The Movie

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.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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