All was quiet until late May when Casey opened an email. We were invited to Quail Springs Mall for the cast and crew private screening. I was overjoyed that we would see Rudderless in less than a week! Casey was bewildered that it was really happening.
The fateful Monday night arrived. We walked out of the warm and mellow Oklahoma evening into the chilly air-conditioning of the flashy mall. It was like going back in time, neither of us had been there since highschool. Teenage culture still rules the mall.
At the AMC we made our way through the red lobby. Inside the theater we immediately found Drava, my old band mate from Local Honey. She had picked out prize seats by the entrance. This made for great people watching. We saw Angela Hodgkinson, Matt and Nicole Bauske, Tara Dillard, Travis Linville, Becky Carman, Kari Hirst Starky and her husband Frank, Brandy McDonald, Elise Kilpatrick, and Casey Twenter. Cacky Poarch sat down right behind us.
The movie began. It was mind altering to recognize familiar local places in a Hollywood production. Oklahoma appeared golden and beautiful. Main street Guthrie, Oklahoma City, Lake Hefner, and Edmond’s UCO campus blended into a new vision of an Oklahoma town, providing a captivating backdrop to the story. The setting played an essential role in helping Rudderless shine.
We had been dwelling on worries about our scene. Would we look stupid? Would we approve of how we were portrayed? We knew that someone was going to vomit during our scene, and we didn’t know the context. Basically we had never read the script. We hoped it wasn’t some kind of joke on us. But every worry was laid to rest as soon as we saw our scene, which lasted about thirty seconds.
Rudderless touches on many themes, dark and light. It’s about unconditional love and redemption, alcoholism, hiding out, and the power of music. It’s a mix of grief and hitting rock bottom “plus the upbeat musical joy you'd expect from a making-a-band story” It was an emotional journey with many turns.
The movie was full of fresh and sincere new music that captured the heart. We really loved leading man Billy Crudup a lot by the end of the movie. He did it all from drunken physical comedy to catharsis. He elevated Rudderless. We had tears in our eyes during the powerful closing sequence.
The audience sat silently through the short list of credits, then everyone rose and applauded Bill Macy, and screenwriters Casey Twenter and Jeff Robison.
The music, the setting, the acting, the narrative; this movie feels like unexplored territory for Hollywood. It’s a new story. It will be released in theaters this October. We can’t wait to see it again.
Want to read more about our experience with Rudderless? Here's the Whole Rudderless Story!