Sedona Arizona certainly has it all, the spiritual and the scenic, the magnetic and the majestic. ‘Sedona: The Movie’ whimsically exploits every kitschy, crazy and crash –landing caricature that thousands of tourists flock to find there every year. Director Tommy Stovall presents his second feature film since “Hate Crime” (2005). A Sedona resident for nearly a decade, Stovall utilizes the unofficial geographic center of all things metaphysical as a scenic backdrop for his latest motion picture. Smooth aerial views of the beautiful red landscape calmly introduce us to another day in Sedona: Scenic bi-plane rides through the mountains while elsewhere tourists pile into Pink Jeeps. Meanwhile, workaholic ad executive Tammy Johnson played by Frances Fisher (Titanic, Unforgiven) blazes down highway 89A thinking she’s heading to Phoenix for the biggest business deal of her life. She nearly hits a boy crossing the street, apologizing to Scott (Seth Peterson Lie To Me, Burn Notice) the boy’s father. Equally workaholic Scott has come to Sedona with his partner Eddie (Matt Williamson Boston Legal, Will and Grace) and their two children to get away for the weekend and get Scott to relax. Before the sun sets on Sedona that day, Tammy and Scott will meet again. But only after they become lost will their paths cross once more, as the town of Sedona uses every item in their inventory to help direct the two detoured lives to their destiny.
While ‘Sedona’ presents the mood and feel of it’s mystical surroundings well photographically, it falls short in capturing the relationship of the human characters lost in this mysterious land cinematically. Dialog is heavy throughout the film, rarely giving the wind and hills their chance to speak, especially when they appear to be the most prominent theme the characters share. The story is uncomplicated and compelling, while the flashbacks are obvious and minimal. The characters are most definitely quirky, as ‘Sedona’ takes every New Age stereotype and exploits it to the hilt. Beth Grant (King of the Hill, The Violation) is superb as Deb Lovejoy, the tarot telling, chakra balancing, foot massaging, toenail painting, loveable all-in-one local that guides Tammy through her journey. As ‘Sedona’s bag of mixed nuts begins to fill the screen, a few of the characters (inevitably) go over the top. Veteran actress Lin Shaye (Kingpin, Take Me Home) is a tad too crazy as Claire, disrupting the customers at the local coffee shop on a daily basis, wearing a party hat and a tattered party dress, searching for the mother that abandoned her as a child. Director Stovall has deftly and lovingly incorporated all of the elements found in his own back yard. With a strong affinity for Sedona’s reputation, and a balance of obvious sarcasm, ‘Sedona’ embraces the attraction that brings so many to it’s magical setting, never taking it too seriously and using the mysticism of the red rocks more as a catalyst for the story and a scenic backdrop.
‘Sedona’ provides a heartwarming, easygoing film with an amazing cast. Utilizing the talents of his all-Arizona crew and, of course a breathtaking location, Stovall and crew have created a polished and professional production, highlighting the endless possibilities of feature filmmaking in Arizona by Arizona filmmakers. If you have ever pondered a trip up north to the red rocks, ‘Sedona: The Movie’ provides a humorous preview of what you can find. All you have to do is look for it.
- Sedona: The Movie (2012)
Profound personal transformations are experienced by a powerful advertising executive and a stressed-out lawyer over the course of one life-altering day in Sedona, Arizona.