Rated: PG-13
Release Date: 01/15/2021
Production Company: Axispacific Filmworks

Rome Brooks, Matt Bush, William Lige Morton, Paula Rhodes, Sandra Seeling and Tyler Steelman.

Director: Renji Philip. Producers: Renji Philip and Jared Drake. Executive Producers: Renj Philip. Screenwriter: Renji Philip. Cinematographer: Rainer Lipski.
By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

It took a lot for me to stay awake while watching “The Wake of Light” from director/screenwriter Renji Philip (“Cheesecake Casserole”).

It’s a slow-moving romantic drama, lacking in both romance and drama.
“The Wake of Light,” stars Rome Brooks (“Dirty Laundry”) as a nice 20-year-old named Mary who lives in a quaint town in Sutter Creek, California.

It’s a real folksy kind of place where everybody knows each other and either works at the local grocery and hardware store or restaurant.

Mary hasn’t stepped foot out of her town and seen any other part of the state much less the country. Part of the reason why is because she’s been lovingly caring for her widowed father Stanley (William Lige Morton, “Journeyman”) who suffered a stroke and needs constant attention. Mary and her dad get by on his disability checks and the money she makes from selling fresh water that she pumps from their backyard well.

One afternoon while downtown selling her bottled water, Mary meets a guy named Cole (a bland Matt Bush “TV’s “The Goldbergs”) who was traveling from Virginia to Utah until his car broke down on the outskirts of town.

Cole talks way too much. I think anyone else, but Mary would have probably quickly ditched this guy. Then again, Mary has had few people to talk to other than her dad, so Cole is probably a welcome annoyance.

He buys a bottle of water from her and swears that it’s the best he’s ever had. Flattery will get you everywhere or at least an invitation over Mary’s house for dinner where he will meet her intimidating father.

Cole takes it all in constantly talking and eating and even scores a few points by doing a minor barnyard repair for them. They continue to get to know each other while hiking to one of Mary’s favorite spots.

Cole is falling fast for Mary and surprises her with a kiss and even asks her to come along on his road trip. Of course, she can’t leave her father behind, but Cole goes too far when he tells her that she can’t keep using her father as an excuse to not live her life.

Yet, the more Cole talks, he reveals something about his life that angers Mary and makes her realize that he’s not the one and the best place for her now is Sutter Creek and spending time with everything and everyone she’s familiar with and really loves.
There just isn’t much to “The Wake of Light” which runs a laboriously 80 minutes.

I kept waiting for something major to happen; some surprising turn of events, but unfortunately it just doesn’t. It just never quite takes off.

Editor's Note: Be sure to catch my movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays at 6:20 p.m. on radio station KFBK 93.1 FM and 1530 AM.

Watch This Trailer For "THE WAKE OF LIGHT"

Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics' Association (BFCA), The Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC) and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.


Year Released: 2020
Running Time: 94
Production Company: Paramount
Director: Arthur A. Seidelman
Director of Photography: Hanania Baer
Screenwriter: Mark McClafferty, Clint Smith, Mark E. Corry, Lin Marlin and Sam Egan
Author: By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

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