Not every novel is for every reader, nor is every album for every fan of music. The same principle can be applied to movies as well. The aspiring feelgood movie Off The Rails is a film with a target audience of 50-something, menopausal woman who enjoy the works of Blondie, and if you are not in that category odds are you won’t find much to like about it.
Off The Rails is the story of three women (Sally Phillips, Jenny Seagrove and Kelly Preston, in her final role) who set off on an adventure to relive their youth after the passing of one of their friends. Their goal, reach Mallorca in five days to catch God’s disco ball, something they were unable to do the last time they took the trip. You might be wondering what God’s disco ball is. So it’s when the sun shines through a specific cathedral’s stained glass window.
It’s a rare occurrence that only happens twice a year. It’s something they missed when they went last time around. It was their dead friend’s wish that they make time to do it together and bring her daughter with them. At first they are reluctant to leave their daily lives behind to accomplish the task, but they do it anyway, and come together in a way they haven’t done in years.
First off, having a soundtrack that only includes Blondie songs is a little too much. Sometimes the girls sing along as if the movie is a Mamma Mia! type musical, and other times the songs just play away in the background for no particular reason. While Blondie songs are fun, it just doesn’t make a lot of sense to only include them unless the film is a musical. And this movie is definitely not a musical. The biggest issue with the movie, outside of the very focused target audience, are the cardboard characters with no depth to them. The characters feel like, and act like strangers with one another. Like the movie threw them together for no particular reason. This makes the comedy fall flat, and the jarring jumps from one city to the next even more jarring.
Off The Rails has potential, but it unfortunately doesn’t live up to it. Director Jules Williamson stays focused on the target audience. But in doing so, she leaves the rest of the audience shaking their heads. The rest of the audience is also trying to figure out if the story is realistic or not. Hopefully it’s not, but unless the movie is for you, you won’t know for sure.