From Wilmette, Illinois, native writer-director Sam Kretchmar, Keep in Touch stars Ryan Patrick Bachand as Colin and singer-songwriter Gabbi McPhee as Jessie in an intimate portrait of a relationship based on deceit. Kretchmar’s debut film premiered at the Chicago International Movies and Music Fest, where he took home the award for Best Narrative Feature. Keep in Touch has gone on to screen at more than 40 festivals around the world, including Austin Film Festival, Calgary International Film Festival and the Heartland Film Festival, picking up a total of eleven awards for Best Narrative Feature and four Audience Awards.
Keep in Touch is a quaint story about a man who has done a little time in prison, and he returns from prison and is working in a nursery taking care of plants and flowers. At some point, he visits a bar and sees Jessie performing on her guitar. He takes a liking to her, even though she has a boyfriend, but he later discovers that she is the sister of his old grade school friend. Since the last time he had seen his friend or known of her whereabouts, she had been killed in an auto accident with her mother. So this attraction to her younger sister is sort of weird, given that he won’t reveal his identity.
Colin has to navigate a lot of things, among them trips to his parole officer and a vow to stay away from New York City, as he has also inherited a home in Connecticut. But Jessie lives in New York City, and he seems to have so much fun when he is with her. A bit of fun that is interrupted when he gets into a fight with Jessie’s current boyfriend, and his freedom is threatened by his parole officer. After a painful meeting with Jessie’s father, who is an artist and working on an installation about Jessie’s sister, Colin is still not prepared to reveal just what this family means to him.
After a few scrapes and bruises received while in a fight with Jessie’s boyfriend, Colin is prepared to tell the truth. In the interim, he is visited by his ex-fiancée, who got lost in the shuffle when Colin went to jail for a manslaughter after, ironically, an automobile accident. Of course, Jessie is livid when she discovers that Colin once knew her sister. They go through their required separation, but alls well that ends wells. Some kind of way, they keep in touch.
This is a good indie film that held my interest throughout. Colin is a sweetheart who is just trying to rebuild his life after he serves his time. He has a job, but for some reason, it seems he is always just on the edge of falling off the ledge again. I really enjoyed knowing that the director lives not even 10 minutes from me.
Keep in Touch from Unbundled Underground and Filmbuff premieres on November 11 for a week-long limited engagement at Facets Cinemateque, located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave., in Chicago. For more information, visit http://www.keepintouchfilm.com/