A Song Still Inside
Often in movies, we see a family dynamic where the man is the breadwinner and a woman as the doting stay-at-home mom who sacrifices everything for her man. Filmmaker Gregory Collins takes that notion of family and career and turns it on its ear in “A Song Still Inside.”
In Collins’ flick, we met Mike (Rodrigo Lopresti) a struggling actor/writer who finds himself relegated to the role of stay-at-home dad to his nine-month-old son. Mike loves his son and wife Maggie (Susan Highsmith), a fellow actor, and is content in his role for the moment.
But soon Maggie’s own star is on the rise and now Mike finds himself dealing with the attendant emotions. He misses two auditions when Maggie can’t come home from her own gig, but manages to finish his screenplay in between taking care of his son and keeping the house in order.
Things become more tense between the two when a producer shows interest in Mike’s screenplay and wants him to make the trek to Los Angeles. Maggie wants him to make the trip and strike while the iron is hot. Mike’s next decision places everything he holds dear in jeopardy.
Collins does something wonderful in “A Song Still Inside” by showing the struggles a young father goes through when he finds himself not the breadwinner of the family. On one hand, he wants to be the best dad he can and on the other, he has a dream that is within reach. Instead of having Mike sulk around the screen, Collins opts to have Mike be understanding and the most sympathetic character in the film. There are also moments when the camera is a little too close, but that just lends itself to the tension in the scene.
Lopresti is wonderful in his role as a father juggling his life and career. He plays the character reserved and within himself, which only gives the character more power.
Highsmith is also great in her role, especially in the third-act climax. The movie slow-crawls toward the third act, but both actors knock it out of the park when their moment comes to shine.
The only fault I found in the film was with Maggie’s pill-popping mother, played by Jacqueline Knapp. I thought for sure she would do something to jeopardize the couple’s child and that would lead them to a revelation, but that never happens. She’s in a few scenes and keeps Mike’s secret of leaving his son by himself as he attempts to make it to an audition, but beyond that, there’s not much for the character to do.
“A Song Still Inside” is a raw portrayal of the struggles a young couple faces when careers and relationships collide. Lopresti and Highsmith are strong as the film’s leads and Collins delivers a story that punches you in the gut with the power of realism.