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The Departure - Movie Review

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The Departure

Stinkin’ Lucas just cheers everybody up and makes the whole office better!  Lucas this! Lucas that!  Uh-oh.  Just who is this guy?

With those words, Nate (Grant Wright Gunderson) finds himself concerned about his girlfriend’s loyalty given his new circumstances.  What follows in writer/director Merland Hoxha’s The Departure is a bizarre tale of lust and loyalty as one man enlists his best friend to test his girlfriend BEFORE he relocates clear across the country.

"a pretty twisted story of loyalty and lust that questions the strength of relationships, is frightfully tense"


Nate and Jessica (Kendall Chappell) have decided to move in together.  They live in Los Angeles and couldn’t be happier as a couple, so why not make the next stop and move in together?  But, when Nate’s boss (The Doom Patrols Jon Briddell) tells him that he needs him in New York for 6-months, their plans to move in together get iced.  

But Jessica seems oddly okay with it.  

After all, Lucas - the new guy at her office - makes everything better . . . including the news that Nate has to move so far away.  Due to his own insecurities, Nate mistakenly turns to his friend, John (Austin Lauer), for help.  But the help he is asking for is not something usual.  Seduce her, he tells John. Let’s see how loyal she is. {googleads}

And with that, the game is afoot, showcasing just how weak of a man Nate actually is.  

This “trust test” is completely crazy and it makes for a lot of discomfort the further The Departure sets in and the couple at the center of this tale stops really communicating with each other.  Nate would rather play games and ratchet up points against Jessica while discussing their supposed commitment.  And she, aware that Nate knows of her infidelity, has only John to turn to.

But what really happened that night?  

Finding it difficult to say “no” to dollar shots of cheaply made tequila, John - who has already creeped audiences out in his own relationship with Amber (Olivia Lemmon) - begins to make the “nice guy” moves on Jessica with copious amounts of alcohol and discussions about distance and loyalty and (OOPS!) Erika, Nate’s ex, who, unknown to Jessica, is also in New York.The Departure

The Departure, a pretty twisted story of loyalty and lust that questions the strength of relationships, is frightfully tense.  Thanks to Lauer’s performance and Gunderson’s wrongheaded intentions as Nate, viewers are consistently surprised at the pair, especially with the twist at the end as the consequences that come raining down on everybody involved in the deceit reveal true colors.

Let the dinner table conversation fly with The Departure, coming June 12 to digital and On Demand thanks to October Coast.

3/5 stars

The Departure


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The Departure

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
70 mins
: Merland Hoxha
Merland Hoxha
Jon Briddell, Kendall Chappell, Olivia Lemmon
: Drama

Memorable Movie Quote: "There's this co-worker who just keeps talking about this Lucas guy."
October Coast
Official Site:
Release Date:
May 10, 2019
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
June 12, 2020.
Synopsis: Right before moving in together, Nate and Jessica face an unexpected obstacle when Nate is offered a job promotion that forces him to leave Los Angeles and move to New York for 6 months. This bi-coastal relocation is not the only challenge that this picture-perfect couple will soon face: Nate’s anxiety is intensified as Jessica begins talking more and more about her new coworker named Lucas who always seems to make her laugh. The impending distance between Nate and Jessica only serves to fuel further doubts about her future faithfulness.

Realizing that he can’t leave the city with these worries in the back of his mind, Nate decides to test Jessica’s loyalty by asking his friend John to try and seduce her.


The Departure

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