Victor Martin (Shatner) plans to live out his golden years with the love of his life, a vintage silver Porsche. The retired, never married NASA test pilot calls Palm Springs home, and as submitted, it’s a sleepy desert resort community where everybody knows everybody. (Even if it’s not true, in order to help grease a path through some of the film’s more fortuitous encounters, it’s best we go with it.) One can’t really call Caroline’s (Jean Smart) first encounter with Victor a “meet cute.” By then, director Giorgio Serafini and his writers have done an ace job of drawing their characters together; they’re unknowingly sharing space in close, ever-narrowing proximity. She didn’t realize it at the time, but the Porsche doing donuts beneath her window, the silver one that came close to causing a fatality, was being piloted by the man whom she was courting. You know, the same schmuck who, as a result of the incident, had his car impounded and license temporarily revoked. His cry of outrage echoes throughout the Coachella Valley: “Victor Martin does not take the bus! Not now, not ever!” To spoiled Victor, public transportation is for losers, old people, and, unbeknownst to him at the time, Caroline. It would be thoughtless to write this off as entirely Shatner’s show. But his ability to make everything that comes out of him sound unrehearsed and effortless makes him a delight to watch. And Smart’s Caroline provides Victor with just cause to swap out his love affair with a four wheel roadster for a woman capable of handling his curves. With: Christopher Lloyd. (2021) — Scott Marks
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