I didn’t know anything about ‘What Separates Us’ before seeing it but, honestly, I liked the title. Sometimes it’s the little things. This film is written, directed and stars Bryan Ferriter and perhaps he did a little too much heavy lifting here. The result is a bit of everything hitting the wall, and I do agree with some idea similarities to ‘Good Will Hunting.’ The film is not entirely the worst thing in the world – Ferriter is not a bad actor at all, treading a worn role, and has good chemistry with Shannon Mary Dixon who plays his love interest. It’s not the worst thing in the world. but does it need to exist?
‘Dear Dictator,’ fares slightly better. Written and Directed by both Joe Syracuse and Lisa Addario, the premise is at least very interesting. A teenager (Odeya Rush) befriends a dictator of a Latin American country (played deliciously by Michael Caine) and after his country goes through a revolution, he starts to secretly )at first) lives with her and her mother (Katie Holmes) and well…hilarity ensues? There’s a lot of ideas going on in the film, and I wish they were trimmed, but there’s enough charm in the film to make you overcome them. Plus, there are great performances all around, starting with Caine’s Castroesque dictator-with-a-heart.