RADIO INSIDE is a stylized slice-of-life drama, which blends fantasy, reality, and flashbacks in telling the story of a confused young man involved in a love triangle with his brother and his brother's girlfriend. An expanded version of writer-director Jeffrey Bell's short graduation film,
RADIO INSIDE was shown at Cannes in 1994, and debuted on the Showtime cable network later that year.
Matthew Anderson (William McNamara), a recent college graduate from Indiana, moves in with his older brother Michael (Dylan Walsh), a Miami advertising executive. Laid-back Matthew spends most of his time watching fish at the aquarium or soaking in the tub, thinking. Michael thinks Matt should
quit daydreaming and join the real world, and offers him work as a copywriter. Instead, Matt takes a job as a lifeguard at a municipal pool, a move Michael thinks unwise, especially since their father drowned a year ago. But Matt would rather supervise the rowdy kids at the pool than join the
corporate rat race. Matthew finds a kindred spirit in Michael's girlfriend, Natalie (Elisabeth Shue), a bookstore clerk. As Michael becomes more and more work-obsessed, neglected Natalie pals around with Matthew. After a short while, they fall for each other. Natalie wants to break off her
relationship with Michael to be with Matt, but Matt decides that though he loves Natalie he cannot do anything to hurt his big brother.
The three are brought back together when a misunderstanding leads Matt to the conclusion that a boy has drowned at the pool because of his negligence. He takes off in Michael's car, consumed with guilt not only over this incident, but also because he was present when his father drowned and was
unable to save him. As Michael and Natalie sit by the phone and worry, Matthew tries to drown himself, but survives. Comforted by his brother's love, Matthew learns to deal with his grief and guilt, and Michael accepts the fact that Matt and Natalie love each other.
The title refers to Michael's observation that Matt's brain is like a bored four-year-old playing with a radio dial, switching stations every few seconds. Matt's flights of fancy include memories of his youth, visions of his deceased father (Steve Zurk), and conversations with a Cuban-speaking
Jesus (Ara Madzounian). Matt's internal radio is also fixated on water, and frequent flashes of aquatic imagery add to the film's distinct visual style. The soundtrack features songs by The Cranberries, R.E.M., and Big Head Todd and the Monsters.(Nudity, sexual situations, profanity.)
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- Released: 1994
- Rating: NR
- Review: RADIO INSIDE is a stylized slice-of-life drama, which blends fantasy, reality, and flashbacks in telling the story of a confused young man involved in a love triangle with his brother and his brother's girlfriend. An expanded version of writer-director Jef… (more)