Roxy is a modern take on Jane Austen’s Emma, featuring Jake Short, Booboo Stewart and Sarah Fisher.
‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson
This was the quote running through my head throughout Michael Kennedy’s #Roxy, a young adult love story which became available on major streaming platforms today. The story, written by Tony Binns, is loosely based on Jane Austen’s Emma, the story of misconstrued romance.
In this instance, young hacker savant, Cyrus Nollen (Jake Short, Dexter’s Scott Smith) is madly in love with his best friend, Roxy (Sarah Fisher). She just doesn’t know it and he’s too chicken to say anything. Of course, he is willing to play pranks on his fellow classmates, which gets him in to trouble, and because he spends so much time in his laptop, he is also falling behind in school.
After a pep rally in which Cyrus humiliates the football captain one of the coolest high school principals ever to grace the silver screen confronts him: Danny Trejo as Principal Castillo. His character even comes complete with a publicity still from Machete. It was nice to see him in a more mature role, but he still rocked it.
Roxy has a crush on Christian, the high school heartthrob. The problem is that she is so scare to approach him that she enlists Cyrus’s help to make the connection by asking him to give Christian her number so that they can text. Cyrus agrees. As we learn, love by proxy is never a good way to start a romantic relationship.
Cyrus has bigger problems though: his nose is longer than most, bringing what he feels in unwanted attention to himself. This also causes him to act out. In a humorous scene, where we first meet the high school heartthrob, Christian (Booboo Stewart) is goaded into making fun of Cyrus, something that Cyrus has encouraged other bullies to be more creative in their name calling. Christian answers the call.
You can probably piece together what happens next. Binns’s script is fairly straight forward with hints of today’s high school culture, but it is never cloying; you can pick pieces out of Emma in all of the characters. The performances from Short and Fisher are strong. The on-screen tension between the two, even as friends comes through the screen.
There are some character arcs that, even though their conclusions are right for the film, felt like they just trailed off in to the sunset. This is a story where the supporting characters are just as important as our main characters. I did feel badly for Christian because he is painted as a jocular character without much in the way of intellect, but boy did he have a great soul.
That’s the key to this story – the soul. It’s the most human element in all of our characters because love can make us do some really crazy things. Roxy would probably be proud of my using Tennyson to open this review, the studied romantic that she is.
That reminds me . . . . I need to check out Chekhov.
Now streaming, Roxy is rated PG-13