Title: The National Tree
Year of Release: 2009
Available On: DVD purchased from Amazon Smile
Rating: 4 out of 5 Jingle Bells
Oh, the innocence of the early internet. Goddess bless the old internet, RIP old internet. I’m enjoying this trip back through the late aughts.
Rock: That’s the internet for ya, you can do something in the morning in Utah, and by the evening it’s everywhere.
Rock (Evan Williams – a.k.a. LUKE FROM AWKWARD.) enters his tree, planted on the day of his birth, into a contest for a new National Tree. Did you know that there’s a National Tree? Neither did I. But Rock’s tree, a sitka spruce, is chosen to be dug up and transported to D.C., planted across the street from the White House. He sees the contest as a chance to get out of his small town and meet the President, but his father is concerned that the tree might not survive the trip. Dad (Andrew McCarthy) finally agrees — but only if he and Rock are the ones who drive the tree. Rock agrees, and the vlogging of the journey thereof.
A series of unfortunate challenges face them on their trip, including driving through a forest fire, bringing teenager and father together against all odds. I’ll tell you that Andrew McCarthy is in. his. element. as somewhat surly dad. He’s never been better. He’s playing someone of the right age range! And I’ve never seen this story before. Evan Williams and Paula Brancati, who plays his love interest, Katie, worked together on Degrassi — and they have good chemistry. Jayne Eastwood is a treasure as Lana, Rock’s grandmother.
I especially like this movie because it apparently pissed off some conservative movie reviewers, which is my favorite thing to do! I hope someday they discover me and get very, very mad. I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed the “political protests and green proproganda.” I am also fine with calling the tree the “National Tree” or the “holiday tree” or whatever — keep the Christ out of Christmas, I always say. (Y’all know I am a heathen.) I also enjoy how Rock and Katie are portrayed as normal fucking people who have complex relationships with their parents and who have grown close on the internet and would like to take a trip together. Though it is admittedly very stupid to stowaway on the back of a trailer alongside a huge tree? Why, oh why, are young people so stupid.
Anyway, everything turns out fine. Both dad and son fall in love. The tree gets where it needs to go. This is an ok movie. It woulda been a 3.5/5, but I play favorites and Awkward. is one of my favorite TV shows of all time.