‘Reach Me’ Trailer: A Self-Help Book Brings Everyone Together

Published 5 months ago by , Updated July 8th, 2014 at 3:01 pm,

Writer/director John Herzfeld’s (15 Minutes, The Death and Life of Bobby Z) upcoming ensemble drama Reach Me now has a trailer, which is already drawing comparison (not necessarily of the positive type) to Paul Haggis’ Oscar-winning LA racial tensions drama Crash, for its ensemble cast and multiple overlapping character story threads. However, going by the initial footage, Herzfeld’s new project looks more like a mashup of multiple genre films, as opposed to a collection of individual plot lines that come together to form a cohesive whole.

Herzfeld’s Reach Me script, in a nutshell, centers around a group of people who are all linked together by their shared connection to a self-help book published by a mysterious, reclusive ex-professional football coach. The final section of the film’s trailer is dedicated to just listing off the many cast members; it’s quite the eclectic roster - counting such names as Kevin Connolly (Entourage), Danny Trejo (Machete Kills) and Elizabeth Henstridge (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) among its numbers - though, it’s the movie’s biggest name cast members who get featured in the spotlight here.

As mentioned before, what’s curious is how disparate the Reach Me narrative threads feel, in the context of the trailer. For example, the Thomas Jane subplot seems to resemble a contemporary-set neo-Western; Kyra Sedgwick’s storyline has shades of a prison drama (call it Orange is the New Black: The Later Years); Sylvester Stallone’s scenes eventually give rise to some Rocky-esque inspirational monologuing; and, if that’s not enough, there are mobster, romance, and sports genre elements peppered throughout the rest of the preview footage.

reach me sylvester stallone Reach Me Trailer: A Self Help Book Brings Everyone Together

That’s not to say there’s anything wrong, per se, with a narrative that blends together so many genres, but thus far Reach Me appears to be more messy than innovative in its structure. It doesn’t help that the film’s production values have something of a cheap look to them, while the overall visual aesthetic seems pretty ordinary - with the trailer’s mood often falling closer to being hammy and melodramatic, rather than profound or impactful.

Maybe the actual movie will prove to be more successful at realizing what, to be fair, seems to be a pretty ambitious goal. For now, though, Reach Me doesn’t exactly come off as a memorable new addition to the list of dramas that’ve offered a kaleidoscopic perspective on the human experience (for recent examples, see Babel, Disconnect, etc.).

Reach Me opens in U.S. theaters on October 24th, 2014.

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  1. “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right. If it’s not worth doing right, it’s not worth doing at all. If it can’t be done right, do something you can do right instead.”
    Why have a nice cast doing something that doesn’t feel right or complete?

  2. I actually think this looks really good. As someone who watched magnolia after it got so much praise and thought it was pretty lackluster. I actually think this is getting undeserved negative attention. The trailer, while choppy and a little haphazard, actually got me very interested in the film. I absolutely love films that blend multiple story arcs together well. They don’t have to all meet each other in the end or discover who the author is or anything like that. I’ll be satisfied as long as each arc is wrapped up nicely with good character growth. Also, Tom Jane for president.

    • Tom Jane for Roland!

  3. Trying to hold a phone to your ear while wearing a suit makes you look awkward

  4. Looks pretty good to me.

  5. So, does this mean Maggie dies in this coming season of The Walking Dead? (she’s doing movies now apparently…)

    • She’s done movies (altho most were not very good) prior to this. Allot of TV actors do a film in between season of their regular gig.

      • Oh ok, I hope that’s the case. I like her on the show… :-P

  6. Mr. Schaefer, in the second paragraph: “self-hep book”

    • … And fixed.

      Thanks for the catch!

      • NP man. :-)

  7. Funny – reminds me a lot of a book I just read, which this guy must’ve read too. Strange, a self-help writer, elements of mobsters, sports, romance…. if you want to read the real deal, try ‘Confessions of a Self-Help Writer’ by Ben Dehaven. Fantastic book, and obviously considered good enough to be ripped off I guess! lol

    • I was going to say the same thing. I just got done reading “Confessions of a Self-Help Writer” by Ben Dehaven, and instantly got excited thinking it was already going to be a movie. So disappointed that this movie is not based on that book.

  8. This looks vaguely familiar. Confessions of a self help writer. https://bdehaven.com weird that all these stars got copies of the most wished for book of 2014 on indie bound.