Millennials Talk Cinema: ‘Roped,’ ‘Lady Driver’ filmed in Petaluma
You guys! “Lady Driver” is set in Petaluma!
I’ll back up.
“Lady Driver” is a locally shot film, made by the same production company of last year’s “Bennett’s War” and a few other recent releases available on Netflix. It’s always a treat to see Petaluma in the movies, but it’s a little rarer to have it be named as the town where the action officially takes place.
And what can I say, I got excited.
Beyond the local color, I was so engaged and endeared by this movie. Ellie Lansing’s enthusiasm and good nature made for a compelling main character, and Grace van Dien captures that so well. Van Dien’s chemistry with Sean Patrick Flanery (who plays her estranged uncle Tim, and whom I always appreciate) makes for a really warm central relationship, as Tim takes Ellie under his wing to learn about cars, racing, and the father she never knew.
I also really enjoyed that this was a movie that didn’t have to manufacture drama, as it is populated by believably flawed people, trying to do their best. Well, them and the villanous Buck McCreadie, made delightfully hateable by David Gridley.
“Lady Driver” has its clunky moments, and it’s definitely not unpredictable, but I really liked it. If you enjoy movies about racing, or family connections — or figuring out where you fit in — give it a spin.
Having said that, there is categorically no Waffle House within 20 miles of Petaluma.
Go to Henny Penny, McCreadie, like a real Petaluman.
[Suggested emojis: Happy Face, Race Car emoji]
After almost two months of sheltering in place, online movie watchers are facing the sad reality that we are running out of new, quality content to enjoy. As a person who was taught at a young age to give all films a chance — that even those with dull titles and terrible trailers can still surprise you — I decided to check out “Roped,” produced by Petaluma raised Ali Afshar.
Well, boy, can I tell you this new-to-Netflix cowboy romance definitely surprised me.
As I grumpily began to watch this film I had zero desire to see, I quickly found myself smiling. Not because it was good (oh no), but because it was so incredibly ridiculous.
Truth be told, I am 100% not the audience demographic this movie is aimed for, so I actually feel a bit guilty reviewing it. But hey, if you are an anti-liberal, straight, middle- aged woman who binge watches the Hallmark channel, then you will very probably love “Roped!”
Okay. So the premise is, a touring rodeo comes to a small super- progressive town, (filmed right here in Petaluma and Tomales!), with some good rodeo action, by the way. Young sexy cowboy in training, Colton Burtenshaw (Josh Swickard of “General Hospital”), falls for way-too-old-to-be-a-teenager Tracy Peterson (Lorynn York, of “Dear White People”), the daughter of a militant vegetarian, anti-rodeo leader on the city hall.
Yes my friends, our antagonist is an evil vegetarian.
(Insert crying-so-hard-you’re-laughing emoji.)
As the educated villain tries to convince the town that rodeos are inhumane and should be shut down, Tracy finds herself further attracted to Colton and his rodeo — much to the horror of her father.