[ONE NIGHT ONLY] The Best Bar in America is without a doubt the best micro-budget movie about writers on motorcycles you’ll see this year. The narrative debut of documentarian brothers Eric and Damon Ristau follows Sanders (Andrew Rizzo), a world-weary writer scouring the Southwest for the prototypical pub. Armed with a pistol, a chopper, and a shaggy beard, Sanders spends his mornings gargling with whiskey and his evenings perched on a barstool, writing up each roadside watering hole on his laptop. After ditching his high-maintenance wife on the edge of the highway, Sanders finds a new sidecar passenger in Northway (David Ackroyd), a grizzled drifter who is equal parts wise and loony. The pair’s escapades constitute a series of clever and surreal vignettes, from encounters with a Christian trucker whose favorite insult is “a-hole” to a mesmerizing sequence involving fluorescent blue cocktails and bewitching mermaids. Even with some shoddy sound design and a few forced performances, it’s clear the Ristaus are going for something big here, peppering the film with sweeping shots of the sun-dappled desert landscape and a few choice quotes from Hemingway. Alas, a great American road movie this is not; its “live life to the fullest” and “it’s what’s inside that counts” messages are somewhat heavy-handed. Like the whiskey and sodas that Sanders downs religiously, The Best Bar in America is best consumed on simple terms, so relax and enjoy this modest treat.
- Genres: Adventure, Western
- Country: United States
- Language: English
- Critic's Score: B
- Starring: David Ackroyd [Northway], Monique Lanier [Dahria], Walt Hefner [Sheriff Bushmak], Gregory Collett [Tex], Andrew Rizzo [Sanders]
- Directed by: Damon Ristau [Director], Eric Ristau [Director], Damon Ristau [Screenwriter], Eric Ristau [Screenwriter], Damon Ristau [Producer], Eric Ristau [Producer], Eric Ristau [Cinematographer], Damon Ristau [Film Editor], Eric Ristau [Film Editor]
- Watch the trailer