Review: Hit N' Strum
After hitting a homeless man with her car and driving off, an attractive businesswoman deals with the subsequent guilt after meeting the same man on the street. Drawn to his music and hopeful attitude, she learns more about this guitar-toting hobo, and develops strange feelings, finding the urge to help in any way she came.
Who’s in It?
Michelle Harrison plays Stephanie, curious, gorgeous, and caring, while Kirk Caouette plays the scruffy man without a home. Wearing many hats, Kirk is also the director, and writes and performs the many original songs in the film (he also has extensive experience as a stunt double, but this role doesn’t call for too much of that save for the initial car crash).
Of pair of warm performances and plenty of musical talent make up this piece of indie Canadiana, with Harrison and Caouette carrying the small production about a story based in clichés and simplicity. When Stephanie accidentally hits a pedestrian and drives away, her guilt starts to take over, but it doesn’t fully emerge until she realizes that the man she hit is homeless, and has been an invisible part of her everyday life.
What follows is an empty and predictable tale that unfortunately like many other films, seeks to glorify the homeless, as if they led these magical lives where their talents are just waiting to be discovered. It’s the Pretty Woman effect, and it’s common, and fine, but it’s not a social commentary by any means, simple a dramatic vehicle of the most absurd.
Michelle, rich, is enamored in a certain way by Mike, and starts to take him under her wing. They have fun playing music together – she hits the bongo, he strums the guitar– but with this new altruistic attitude comes new problems
It takes the finale to offer some dramatic confrontation and a few heated exchanges that begin to make Michelle more representative of a society than a single person, and the film ends rightly grounded in reality. The film wholly the creation of Caouette, devising the plot, and taking his first shot at acting and directing, and for that he deserves much praise.
Should I See It?
It’s a bit of a story about supporting and recognizing art, so for those who seek to discover and support upstart Canadian cinema, this is for you.
The third encounter between the two involves the first bit of dialogue, as Michelle tries to apologize, Mike utters between songs: “Yeah, you just drove me over and took off, I saw that.”