Worth the Weight (2012) – By Jon Reino

Sam is an overweight, downtrodden former football player turned bowling alley employee who has seen far better days, especially with his love life. In Worth the Weight, Sam is the perfect underdog. This film is a mixture of drama, comedy, and struggle, all wrapped up in a well rounded indie festival-pleaser package. It has something in it for everyone and is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Somewhat ostracized from his friends due to his weight, Sam realizes it is time for a change. After a goofy bet with his already skinny friends to see who can drop the most weight he enrolls in the local gym where he meets his new trainer, Cassie. Cassie is a bit of a rebel, so what if she is smoking inside the gym, and she is pretty cute too. Sam and Cassie begin to bond as his training continues, and soon she even asks him out to a poetry reading, just as friends, which they promptly ditch to go hang out at the local bar. The more time Sam spends with Cassie the more interested in her he grows, and soon she becomes his new motivation to lose weight. Meanwhile, Sam’s best friend Miles is dealing with his own girl issues when his girlfriend LaShawna becomes pregnant.

This film is full of charm and spirit. The script is fantastic and the direction is quirky and fun. Worth the Weight is an indie roller coaster ride that has you crying one moment and laughing the next, or sometimes both at the same time. Fans of such films as Knocked Up or 40 Year Old Virgin would feel right at home with this story, but at the same time there is a subtlety and self respect which comedies of that style often lack. Where the film really shines is the awkward moments and seeing character reactions. The cinematography, though sometimes a little shaky with the handheld, is consistent and attractive. The editing as well is tight and well organized, especially with their use of montages to show Sam’s progress with his training. Director Ryan Sage is no stranger to the camera, but his feature film debut shows that you will be seeing more of him in the future, as well as Rookie writer Dale Zawada.

The acting is also fantastic. Robbie Kaller and Jillian Federman give fantastic lead performance and the chemistry between them resonates throughout the film. Tommy Snider also gives a great performance as Miles, adding goofy and sometimes pervy comic relief. The way Sam and Miles interact is playful and entertaining, and whenever Sam is with Cassie it will warm your heart. Kaller’s performance is terrific whether the situation is serious or comedic, and the acting overall never disappoints or bores.

Worth the Weight packs a heavy punch into a quirky little film. It is enjoyable and really does bring something to the table for everyone. It is a classic underdog story with a unique twist, and with equal parts drama and comedy it is a definite crowd pleaser and is a film that any independent comedy lover should put on their must see list. Be sure to catch Worth the Weight at this year’s Newport Beach Film Festival, April 26th through May 3rd, and keep and eye out for a screening near you soon. Go to worththeweightthemovie.com and be sure to follow them on Facebook to keep up to date on the latest WTW news.