Review: About Scout
By John Corrado
★★★ (out of 4)
At the start of About Scout, a coming of age dramedy that treads a well worn but always enjoyable path, we are introduced to our two main characters over a montage that cuts back and forth between them to show the state of their lives.
Scout (India Ennega) is a rebellious, free spirited teenager stuck in a small Texas town, living with her elderly Gram (Ellen Burstyn) and left to look after her little sister Lulu (Onata Aprile). Sam (James Frenchville) is a depressed young man in New York, who ends up in a Texas treatment facility after a failed suicide attempt, leading their paths to inevitably cross.
When Scout’s absentee father (Tim Guinee) returns and takes Lulu to live with him and his pregnant girlfriend (Nikki Reed) as part of a travelling carnival, she busts Sam out of the hospital and the two fugitives set off on a road trip together in a stolen rental car. She’s trying to escape the clutches of social services and rescue her sister, and he wants to gain independence from his wealthy mother (Jane Seymour), but they can only run from their lives for so long, especially with the mysterious Red (Danny Glover) hot on their trail.
Directed by Laurie Weltz, About Scout is a character piece first and foremost, using its somewhat cliched road trip structure to provide an often captivating window into their world, and how they are trying to make the most of less than ideal circumstances. It’s a small film, and one that’s very much in tune with a lot of the typical indie tropes, but there are still many enjoyable and affecting moments along the way, bolstered by likeable characters and an exceptional performance from India Ennega.