By Kam Williams
Special to the NNPA from the Afro-American Newspaper
It’s the Fourth of July in suburbia where we find 16 year-old Abigayle (Aja Naomi King) caring for her bedridden mother (Yolonda Ross) while her father Joe’s (Wendell Pierce) job has taken him out of town. Normally, Joe can trust his dutiful daughter to dote on her mom, but on this evening, for some reason, raging hormones have her hot and bothered to the point of distraction.
After a racy phone call, she invites a guy she met in the mall over for what he arrogantly expects to be an intimate encounter. Dexter (E.J. Bonilla) is a former, high school basketball star whose glory days ended abruptly when he graduated from high school.
He’s been in a drug-fueled, downward spiral ever since, and all that he has going for him is an ability to charm gullible young girls. But, when Abby has second thoughts about succumbing to Dexter’s powers of seduction so easily, she talks him into taking her out for a ride.
Meanwhile, her dad isn’t really away on business, but up to monkey business on the other side of town. Turns out Joe is secretly bisexual and has hooked up with a gay kid (Emory Cohen) he met online who is also in the closet but obviously inexperienced and needs to be shown the ropes.
Thus unfolds Four, a compelling character-driven drama about a very eventful day in the lives of four lost souls each searching for a little independence on Independence Day. The movie marks the auspicious writing and directorial debut of recent Columbia Film School grad Joshua Sanchez.
A cautionary tale featuring spectacular Fourth of July fireworks of the emotional variety.
Very Good (Three stars)
Rated R for sexuality, profanity and brief drug use
Running time: 75 minutes
Distributor: 306 Releasing