Um, What's It About?
by Kevin Williamson and Jim Slotek
How does Keanu Reeves describe the plot of The Um Generation? With, appropriately, a lot of thought and pauses.
"To me it works in a way that's not quite literal," he says of the low-budget indie that he just filmed in New York City.
As for what the 'Um' of the title signifies, he says, "It's an invented phrase that kind of works in conjunction with the piece itself. It could mean 'I don't know what to say' or it could mean you're looking for a word. I play a driver for these girls who live together who are escorts. These people are on the edge of society and we get to know more about them and who they are to each other.
"It's a lot about inherited disposition from abuse. It's a family of circumstance coming from abuse. It's a $1.7 million budget, down and dirty -- 20 days in Manhattan and Brooklyn. It's good. It's a great script."
Still, strong screenplay or not, the 46-year-old Reeves realizes how difficult it is for small films to breakout and find both distribution and then an audience. In recent years, he has divided his time between big-budget studio films and indies such as Thumbsucker, A Scanner Darkly to The Private Lives of Pippa Lee. The latter barely received a release at all.
Sighs Reeves, "It's the economics of cinema."