Synopsis by Nathan Southern
As one of three Jack Kerouac motion pictures to be released in the U.S. within a six-month span, this offbeat drama from writer-director Michael Polish (Northfork) cinematizes Kerouac's 1962 novel of the same name. While the original tome enlisted pseudonyms for the real-life literary figures, however, the movie version dispenses with aliases. The film finds Kerouac (Jean-Marc Barr) disenchanted with the Beat mythos and hounded from all corners by fans who hunt him down and demand his autograph. In need of solace, he slips into self-imposed exile, via a retreat at his friend Lawrence Ferlinghetti's (Anthony Edwards) cabin in seaside Big Sur, CA. Within a few days, however, he grows equally restless there and heads back to San Francisco to fraternize with Ferlinghetti and other buddies, including Neal Cassady (Josh Lucas), a married man who introduces Jack to his mistress, beautiful single mother Billie (Kate Bosworth). Jack and Billie fall for one another instantly, and begin a passionate affair, but over the following days, Jack slips into an inexorable funk, sitting in an armchair for an inordinate amount of time and refusing to move or function. Ultimately, he suggests to Billie that they try to return to Big Sur once more, to recapture the magic of the past; the young woman agrees, though she desperately wants Jack to settle down and start a family with her, and it remains entirely unclear if he's capable of doing so.
acclaim, fame, writer