[SXSW] Brittany Snow’s Parachute Is the Strongest Directorial Debut at SXSW

Photo: Great Escape

After over two decades in the industry, you wouldn’t think there was anything Brittany Snow hasn’t done. Her resume runs the gamut, from period piece television show “American Dream” to musicals like the “Pitch Perfect” trilogy to horror like “X,” we’ve seen that Snow can be a versatile actress. But with her directorial debut for Parachute, which she co-wrote, we see what we’ve seen from Snow before is only the peak of the iceberg of what she has to offer.

Parachute is about Riley (Courtney Eaton) and Ethan (Thomas Mann) who are both reentering the real world; Riley just got out of rehab from her eating disorder and Ethan recently got out of jail after a drunken incident. Everything is telling them they aren’t ready for a relationship. And even though they have an instant connection, they decide to only become friends. But it’s the platonic relationship that includes “I love yous” and being jealous of significant others.

Over the course of a few years, we see Riley dealing with her eating disorder, spending most of her time scrolling through social media and over-exercising while working at a dinner theater restaurant. Is the support from Ethan helping her or hurting her?

While the movies feature strong performances from their leads, the supporting cast is amazing as well, with surprising additions. Kid Cudi, Snow’s partner in X, plays fun-loving Justin, Dave Bautista is the owner and writer of the dinner theater restaurant who is sensitive to critiques, and Joel McHale plays Ehtan’s alcoholic father. It’s interesting to see Bautistsa and McHale play against their usual type.
While movies like this usually show a linear, clean journey to growth, Snow shows the messiness that comes with trying to better yourself. Support is important, but ultimately you have to do it on your own for yourself.

The film is a promising start for Snow and arguably the strongest debut work at SXSW this year.