Filmmaker Christopher Fox makes his feature film debut with the drama titled RUB. He wrote and directed the film about Neal (Micah Spayer), a single guy who lacks social skills at the office (and otherwise), who is bullied there and then set up in an unexpected situation. Once there, he decides to explore what is offered, leading to a second visit. It is there where his life takes an extreme turn from all he has lived before. Initially, I was not engaged with the story of yet another single guy having issues, and it took a while to engage me, but the story finally caught my interest.
Fox’s script about Neal gaining strength to fight back against bullies, then falling for a massage parlor employee, Perla (Jennifer Figuereo, Bodega, Lola), a young woman from the Dominican Republic, is worth watching. Spayer is excellent in his role as the lonely and socially awkward individual who gets bullied by Trevor (PJ Landers). Spayer’s performance, when mocked by all the employees who surround his cubicle, is authentic, full of rage, and shows what happens when pushed past the limits. When he goes for his second visit to the parlor run by Olga (Inna Yesilevskaya) after exploding at the office, he relaxes with the massage he receives from Perla. The masked gunmen show up, and chaos reigns. Neal and Perla fight back and overtake the gunmen (she is the sharpshooter), saving themselves and the other staff/customers. The cameras catch Neal running in the street with a gun, Perla alongside, and heading out in a very old and outdated Dodge.
Yes, it is predictable that the decades-old car breaks down in “nowhere land,” and they walk. They eventually find an auto mechanic, West (Westley Barrington Artope, The Get Down), willing to help with the car and lodging in the family home due to their lack of funds. Neal and Perla discover other people in the house who are more than ready to have them experience the brownies and other goodies. There are some colorful scenes when Neal reacts.
Neal tries to explore what he hasn’t done before. With no real experience on a road trip and a lack of funds, the following steps become overwhelming for him. It would be best if you watched to see how far he goes.
RUB had its world premiere at the Big Apple Film Festival. Fox won the Best Director Award at the 2023 Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente de Madrid.
RUB will debut on Cable VOD and Digital HD, including iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Comcast, and Verizon, on August 1, 2023.
Rating: unrated, violence, sex, profanity (and drug use). Running time: 1:45
Source: Entertainment Squad