A sweet romance with a couple of fatal flaws

by Martin Hafer

Chris Bellant stars in this film as Roy, a very insecure high schooler who is trying to create a new band. Along the way, he meets Samantha (Allyson Reilly) and they soon fall in love. Watching them together is often very sweet though later Roy becomes incredibly jealous and controlling and loses her. Can Roy get it together or his he destined to remain alone and miserable?

The Backseat is a very frustrating film to watch. On one hand, it features a cute relationship between two teens who seem so much more normal than your typical romance. Neither is gorgeous and I think this is a big strength of the movie–plus they both did a really nice job in the picture. Unfortunately, while the film generally does a good job with these two, it also has two serious problems. Roy, while very sweet and cute, becomes so fantastically controlling and jealous that the film is a bit creepy–especially as it seems to convey the message that this is okay.

The Backseat
Directed by
Ryan O’Leary
André De Shields, Chris Bellant, Allyson Reilly
Release Date
Martin’s Grade: D

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But a much more obvious problem is that the movie is so incredibly crude and offensive–something you would not normally want from a romance! How offensive? Really offensive. So offensive that it would be a serious turnoff to most couples. The part that really caught my attention was when the comic relief (?) character talks about having sex in the parking lot at the ‘retard school’ in front of the ‘dopey-faced Mongoloids’! Not exactly romantic…to say the least. Now I am not a super politically correct sort of guy but that clearly was beyond what most mature folks would consider offensive or gross. How could some of those lines make it into a movie?! Didn’t someone think this might not be a good idea?!

The bottom line is that this film is incredibly uneven and the audience deserves better.