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‘Up On the Glass’ review: A step in the right direction

Are there enough changes?

Up On the Glass sounds like it is going to be another love triangle thriller. A group of college roommates get together one weekend. Jack (Chase Fein) – the one with most promise – has gone one to live a life as a drifter. Andy (Hunter Cross) had the effortless charm that most swindlers have. He not only became a success, he married Liz (Chelsea Kutz), a classmate both were interested in. As tensions mount, things take a deadlier turn.

It is the type of story that does not require much effort for its usual demographic. Cast an attractive enough cast, set the film in picturesque settings, and keep the action steamy and dramatic and most will be satisfied. Up On the Glass is a good looking film in every way imaginable and the locations are beautiful. The movie is more concerned with delivering a deep story than salacious moments.

The characters of Jack and Andy are built during their early drunken hangouts. Andy throws subtle jabs while Jack sullenly takes them. He constantly carries the look of the ultra sensitive male who understands more. The audience immediately sees that he is the one who should have ended up with Liz. That being said, the male characters are pretty standard.

Liz is the most interesting character in Up On the Glass. She is initially spoken of in hushed tones. Every time her name is said, it is with an air of reverence. The first time the audience is introduced to her is as a voice over the telephone. It is an interesting way to build up the character and it works. The audience cannot wait to meet Liz.

The first half of the movie was exclusively devoted to character development. Up On the Glass is at about the halfway point once Liz makes her first onscreen appearance. Her arrival signifies the point the plot speeds up.  This is much needed as up until this point the conversation laden film was running on fumes. The added intrigue makes things more interesting for the audience.

The movie is also willing to tackle themes seen in the genre in a different way. The two people in different classes falling in love is an age old trope. Up On the Glass does not have characters from different parts of society. Instead, it asks how people define their own worth. Along the way, it asks questions dealing with the class. It is a refreshing way to deal with the subject.

The problem with movies revolving around love triangles is they eventually become overly dramatic. Up On the Glass does an excellent job of avoiding this issue. The character arc of Liz is interesting and keeps the audience engaged during the sometimes too methodical first half. Once the plot kicks into gear, things become more intriguing. The question is, will the audience still be on board?

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