**** (Four stars)
The "27 club" of the film's title refers to the list of musicians who have died at age 27, including Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain. To that illustrious roster this story adds the fictional Tom Wallace (James Forgey, evoking Pete Wentz), who has OD’ed his way to that great greenroom in the sky days after his notable birthday. Left behind is Wallace's best friend/adopted brother/bandmate, Eliot Kerrigan (Joe Anderson of Across the Universe, rocking greasy hair and red-rimmed eyes), accompanied only by his old-school convertible and enough prescription drugs to fuel Rush Limbaugh through three election cycles.
Eliot’s subsequent cross-country road trip hits all the required tropes: lonely desert highways, retro bars, seedy motels, quirky companions. What saves the flick from its conventionality is the singular consistency of Eliot's sadness (and, okay, some very pretty landscapes). Nor does the movie lack for complexity; Anderson’s mournful portrayal of a musician who has put all his emotional eggs in one drug-addicted basket evokes shades of guilt, anger and regret. But it's the power of Eliot’s unwavering grief that consistently forces its way through the movie's clichés, smacking the audience with an unadulterated emotional wallop.—Allison Williams, Seek writer
[This is a TONY staff review, written for the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival. It is not considered an official review and should not be read as such. Please think of it as a casual impression from a movie-loving friend.]