I've never been to Sundance, but I understand that it's some sort of sparsely attended, largely ignored film festival covered in a generous dusting of snow, money, and Robert Redford's earnestness.
Still, even though I've never actually set foot in Park City, Utah during those magical weeks in January when industry business cards drift down from the heavens instead of snowflakes, I know that thanks to the success of Juno, and Little Miss Sunshine, "sundance type," or "indie" movies are very big right now. But what makes Sundance movies so Sundancery? Could any movie sound like a Sundance movie on paper?
After reading all of the descriptions for the movies screening at this year's festival, I've isolated a few key words and phrases that make Sundance movies sound like Sundance movies, and seamlessly worked those Sundance-ifiers into the plot summary of the least indie movie I could think of: the upcoming Larry The Cable Guy yukfest, Witless Protection.
Below, you'll find a description of the movie, Sundance-style!
(For Sundance-vision, picture the poster with a VW bus, bright orange stripes, and Michael Cera's face somewhere)
Summary: During a routine day spent patrolling his small town in the shadow of his mother's concentration camp experience, sheriff Larry on the verge of suicide witnesses a beautiful woman, Madeleine, being held against her will by four mysterious, black-suited men–an event that ruptures his solitude and restores his faith in life. Recognizing the opportunity to save the day as well as the confusing and frightening path of adolescence and sexual awakening, Larry kidnaps? her, only to learn that Madeleine is actually a key witness in a high-stakes Chicago crime case and her captors are FBI agents assigned to protect her. Echoes of Vietnam-era anti-war sentiment abound.
Madeleine is furious. Quentin Tarantino presents something. There is air-drumming. But Larry, who rightly suspects the agents are crooked and Madeleine is in danger, and who also is a commitment-phobic man looking to reunite with his estranged, ailing father and come to terms with his own childhood, forces her on a harebrained trip to Chicago to solve the case himself and, in the process, pin his hopes for salvation on finding his missing cat, Goliath. Together, the mismatched duo must grapple with angry FBI agents, quack doctors, Chicago high society, and a lonely gay zombie searching for love and meaning in contemporary Berlin.