Tater Tot & Patton
In its beginning, Tater Tot & Patton plays like a typical festival film of the Midwest. And on the whole it is. This is followed by Andie (Jessica Rothe), a millennial living in LA who, after avoiding rehab, reconnects with her distant relative Uncle Erwin (Bates Wilder). There is your expected cultural conflict with two different people who have to live together, whether they like it or not, before evaluating each other’s society. The indie does not break shapes, but there is a reserved, elegant gentleness that gradually touches. It’s familiar, but personal and simple, but still personable, which doesn’t make it a masterpiece, but rather an airy, quietly investing experience.
The key to his strength lies in his two central performances. In particular, Rothe takes a kind of parody of a vegetarian hula-hooping millennium and makes Andie real and human, while still finding the character’s humor and compassion. It is a successful turn in a gently involved film.