“Let me drive.”
“Over my dead body.”
“You know there’s a sad irony to that.”
There have been so many movies where two completely opposite people meet, are forced to spend a great deal of time together, and eventually they both learn from each other about how to live life and be a better person. That plot is so clichéd and overused like so many other plots. However, there is one movie I found that uses this plot and actually made it different, funny, touching, sad, and very entertaining. The movie is called Cas & Dylan.
Dr. Cas Pepper (Richard Dreyfuss… and yes he is Dr. Pepper) has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. He has lived his life alone for some time with his Pug Winston. Poor Winston dies one night and Cas decides he needs to head west to get away. The next day he goes to the hospital. He is sitting in his car trying to write something when a girl named Dylan Morgan (Tatiana Maslany) comes over to him. Dylan has been wandering around the hospital trying to get material for a book she is writing. She has seen Cas a few times. He recognizes her when she comes to his window. Cas tells Dylan he is heading west and she gets him to give her a ride home. He sees her as a pain who talks too much and is invasive but he decides to give her a ride anyway.
After he drops Dylan off, Cas sees that she has left her notebook in the car. He throws it out the window but immediately feels bad, gets it, and brings it back to her. When he gets to her house Dylan is running out and away from her boyfriend who has a shot gun. Dylan and Cas run into the car and as he is pulling away Cas hits the boyfriend with the car. Dylan yells at him to go he hit someone with his car they have to get away. Thinking he killed the boyfriend Cas ditches his car and buys a small classic Volkswagen Beetle.
They spend the night at a motel. Cas has been trying to write something but he cannot write what he wants and has thrown out multiple pages. Dylan picks up two pieces. The next day she confronts Cas about his planned suicide. Dylan tells him that since she is a writer she can help him write a note.
At a rest stop Dylan gets a call from the publishing company she had submitted her book to wanting to schedule a meeting. She gets Cas to drive her to the meeting since it is on the way to where he wants to go. When she gets to the company it turns out that they called the wrong Dylan. Cas tries to help her. He goes into the office and tells the secretary that Dylan is sick and he is trying to help her out and he even grabs the phone from the secretary who is not listening. They get in to see the publisher but she tells Dylan her book is not good it seems as if she cannot relate to the subject. The poor girl is beyond crushed. Crying and upset she tells him she wants a better life she does not want to end up like her parents who are losers. Cas consoles her and tells her she is just an apprentice she has time to learn and become a better person.
Cas becomes really sick and has to be brought to the hospital. He keeps telling Dylan he wants to leave he needs to get to his house out west. Dylan is afraid she wants him to stay to get better so she takes his wallet and keys out of his reach. He pleads that he does not want to spend his last days in a hospital. When they get to the house Cas keeps saying that it was supposed to be easy it was not supposed to be difficult. Dylan asks him what he is talking about. He replies that his plan to come to the house and die was supposed to be simple but then he met her.
With Cas’s help, sometime later Dylan is going to school and finally happy with her life.
Richard Dreyfuss and Tatiana Maslany were perfection together. They had such a good rapport and good chemistry. You can tell they had fun working together. Dreyfuss was great as this old doctor who was so set in his ways and just wanted to be alone and he got this young vibrant girl as his travel companion. Cas could have been a mean nasty old bugger but Dreyfuss played him with a warmth that was not out in the open but underneath yet you could still see it. I enjoyed him in this role a lot. Alright onto Tatiana Maslany….
Holy crow this girl is so damn talented! Maslany was incredible. Like Cas, Dylan could have been a typical character. She could have been this truly annoying young girl who lies about everything in her life and cannot get her crap together. Maslany made Dylan wonderfully vibrant and sympathetic. You root for Dylan to better her life and admire her for wanting to do so. Maslany was fantastic at playing the comedic scenes and then heartbreaking in the sad scenes. This may sound weird but I have a crush on this girl’s acting. Maslany makes her characters so believable and more than what they are supposed to be. The more movies and shows I see her in the more I am amazed at how ridiculously talented she is. Richard Dreyfuss commented on her talent: “She was so talented and so exciting! She is gonna be the Meryl Streep of her generation. And she is a fantastic actor and she’s fantastically fun to work with.” It is interesting to watch Maslany in this movie knowing she got the part on Orphan Black while she was making this.
Much praise goes to Jason Priestly who directed the movie (yes the actor from 90210). Along with the acting his direction made the plot not stereotypical. His direction enhanced the scenery of the roads and buildings and even the Volkswagen. He made the scenery and the car supporting characters. Priestly filmed Richard Dreyfuss and Tatiana Maslany in such a way that showed the depth of their characters and even added more depth to them.
Cas & Dylan is a very enjoyable, well made, and well acted movie. The story is familiar yet different. What I loved about this movie is it was not a stupid love story between a guy and a girl it was a story about a man who has lived his life and at the end has met someone who brightened his life and along the way he helped her. Dylan definitely helped Cas see life in a different way but it was not profound. He was the one who left a more profound and meaningful impact on her life. It was not the young teaching the old how to live it was the old teaching the young that they are just beginning to learn about life. The story is a perfect balance of comedy and drama that is severely lacking in so many movies today. I highly, highly recommend watching Cas & Dylan.
You can watch Cas & Dylan in full all thanks to the lovely tumblr blogger Cosima Hella Baked who uploaded it.