Off the Rails
Off the Rails tells the story of Cassie (Kelly Preston), Liz (Sally Phillips) and Kate (Jenny Seagrove), three women who set out to recreate an interrail journey across Europe to fulfil their friend Anna’s dying wish. Taking Anna’s place on this journey is her 18-year-old daughter Maddie (Elizabeth Dormer-Phillips), and this ragtag quartet must overcome their differences to complete her mother’s late unfinished business and gain some closure in the process.
The individual components of this film are unfortunately quite lacklustre. A lot of the jokes feel half-baked, and a large proportion of the writing tends towards the cringe-inducing in a way that drags the piece down – especially in the early parts of the movie, where it feels like the narrative is still finding its feet. The performances are generally solid, with the four leading ladies in particular doing their best to hold up the script where it falters, but at times it can feel like they are trying a little too hard, their portrayals compounding the problems of the screenplay.
However, the feature is more than the sum of its parts, and some uninspiring segments come together to form a fairly decent whole. The acting and writing might be on the corny side, but that imbues the film with an odd sense of sincerity and endearing awkwardness that works surprisingly well with the individual arcs of its four protagonists. Though it’s a little scrappy as a piece, it manages to make that scrappiness part of its charm.
Like even the best-planned holiday, Off the Rails has its problems; it doesn’t hit everything on the itinerary quite the way it intended to, and at times it feels – quite aptly – like it has veered off track. Despite this, the film is still a fun enough excursion, providing a pleasant getaway for anyone who needs it. It’s not the greatest cinematic experience ever, but it also doesn’t pretend to be, offering what it has with sincerity and good spirit.
Off the Rails is released nationwide on 23rd July 2021.
Watch the trailer for Off the Rails here: