As unpleasant and inert as its protagonist, “Amanda & Jack Go Glamping” is a romantic comedy that lacks both love and laughs — and likable characters. Watching writer-director Brandon Dickerson’s film is akin to traveling with rude, unadventurous people, but at least this trip is only 94 minutes long. Viewers won’t be asking, “Are we there yet?” but “Are we done yet?”
After writing a celebrated debut novel, Jack Spencer (David Arquette) hit a sophomore slump and has just been fired from his nebulous job at a startup. His marriage to Amanda (Amy Acker) is in need of a refresh, and the couple thinks that glamping (a.k.a. luxury camping) is the answer to their relationship troubles.
When they arrive at the campground, their solo trip is interrupted by a pair of hipsters (Nicole Elliott and Daniel Ross Owens) and Nate, the hunky, often shirtless landowner (Adan Canto). Jack sulks, refusing to try anything new and spending more time in the woods with a young outdoorsman (Chris Carpenter) than with his wife.
Though Amanda is mentioned in the title, she’s a bare sketch, with little characterization beyond her relationships with her jerk husband and the smarmy Nate. Out of every major character present, she’s the only one we might identify with — if there were anything to latch on to. Acker deserves better, and so does the audience.
‘Amanda & Jack Go Glamping’
Running time: 1 hour, 34 minutes
Playing: Laemmle Monica Film Center, Santa Monica
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