Featured image: Jenny Seagrove, Elizabeth Dormer-Phillips, Kelly Preston and Sally Phillips in Off the Rails. (Courtesy of Route 504 PR.)
Off the Rails, directed by Jules Williamson from a script by Jordan Waller, is a film with a lot of heart, set to the soundtrack of Blondie. Blondie’s song “Dreaming” is the big emotional hook of the film, and this is because it was the favourite song of a character named Anna (Andrea Corr) in the film. She’s seen briefly, but she sets the tone for the entire film as she dies of cancer at the very beginning and aims to reunite her three best friends.
Her best friends – Kate (Jenny Seagrove), Liz (Sally Phillips) and Cassie (Kelly Preston in her final film role) – all attend the funeral and learn that Anna has left them rail tickets across Europe to relive their youth, with the Palma Cathedral in Spain as their final destination. She’s also requested her teenage daughter, Maddie (Elizabeth Dormer-Phillips), to tag along.
The Blondie soundtrack helps set the film apart, complementing its familiar but sweet screenplay. The film’s more amusing to me considering it’s written by Jordan Waller, who starred in and wrote Aussie cannibal horror-comedy Two Heads Creek. This film is evidently vastly different in tone to that one; as Off the Rails is a celebration of life for their late best friend, as well as a lovely exploration of grief, highlighted by solid performances and bursts of comedy. This happens to be Kelly Preston’s final film roles, and she shines. Given the film’s context of celebrating the loss of a great friend, Preston’s death after making the film makes this more real.
This is one of the aspects of the film I discussed with the film’s director, Jules Williamson, where she spoke with me about her film Off the Rails on my podcast The Filmcraziest Show. We also talk about casting the actresses and their obvious chemistry in the film, meeting her first crush Franco Nero (who has a role in the film), collaborating on the script with Jordan Waller and the film’s inspiration, God’s Disco Ball, working with Kelly Preston and a lot of Blondie. Find that conversation above on YouTube, or listen to it or download it below.
Off the Rails released on December 10 on Video on Demand platforms and digital formats.