Roundabout American (2012) – By Misty Layne

Roundabout American is a 2012 production by Borix Wexler, a Parisian who moved to the U.S. when he was 18. The first few minutes of this film actually stem from his real-life arrival in Chicago. However, here we have Alex who lands in Chicago after meeting with and falling in love with a woman online. They’ve known each other for a month so it come as no surprise (at least to the viewer) when she ends up being not quite everything he’d hoped for or anything like she’d said.

Heartbroken, Alex goes out and gets drunk, meeting in the process a Burger King obsessed man who still lives with his parents who shows him the amazing nightlife of Chicago and after a couple of days, they have a plan to cash in on the American dream. What is it? Pizza and pleasure in the form of escorts. It’s the American dream, y’all!

To further complicate matters, Alex has met Helena, a Russian escort who pretends to be American and has fallen madly in love (again). She gets in on the pizza and pleasure business and Alex has a hard time keeping his love life and business life separate.

Roundabout American is mostly a comedy with a fair bit of drama thrown in for good measure. It never aspires to be anything but what it is and what it is isn’t bad at all. Roundabout has a lot going for it. I found the production value to be excellent for being an indie film – excellent staging, good editing and the party scene in particular (which I also found to be the most hilarious moment in the film) was shot perfectly. Also on the plus side are the actors – definitely no complaints there. My favorite being Reza, the Iranian entrepreneur who owns a small pizza shop (played by Rom Barkhordar) – his scene running to stop a party about to go horribly wrong and screaming about “the children” and “clowns” (oh, did I mention that Alex and friends have convinced Reza, their other partner that they run a pizza and clowns children’s birthday party service? No? Well…) was hysterical as was his overall naiveté as to what was actually happening the whole time.

There’s truly not a lot of bad going on here. The plot and script were fun and the ending was a perfect little comeback to the beginning of the film that I really enjoyed. I think the only thing I didn’t really enjoy about this film was the character of Alex, who is… well kind of a douche. He has no redeeming qualities and even at the end of the film where he’s supposedly learned a life lesson of some sort, he’s still engaging in his whiny, petulant, man child behaviors. He’s cold and at times unreasonable and highly jealous. I liked the “villain” of the piece more than this guy.

A nice comedy and a little different than the norm, Roundabout American is certainly worth at least one viewing. While there’s nudity, it’s not copious (given the subject matter) and it’s mostly good clean fun. To learn more about Roundabout American, please visit the website today!