Passion projects are a difficult proposition. People often struggle for years to get their dream movies made and when they finally do, it’s odd to watch the finished product and wonder why they worked so hard in order to bring something so dismal to the screen. John Herzfeld’s Collection (known as Reach Me in the US) is one such film. This set of interconnecting tales wants to be a Crash-style drama and while it sounds great on paper (mainly due to it’s impressive cast), it doesn’t have the script or story to engage.
You’d think any film with Sylvester Stallone, Kyra Sedgwick, Terry Crews, Thomas Jane, Kevin Connolly, Kelsey Grammer, Danny Aiello and Tom Berenger would have some redeeming feature – but it doesn’t. In fact, Collection features these actors doing some of their worst work. Herzfeld’s film shows how a self-help book by a reclusive author (Berenger) impacts the lives of several Los Angelinos. It attempts to be dramatic and quirky though fails miserably. Herzfeld has nobody to blame but himself as he also wrote the script, which at its worst sees Stallone trying hard (and failing) to be profound. This wants to be thought-provoking but it simply doesn’t manage to hold your attention.
The funding for Collection ran-out midway through production. One might presume that this could have been because the people stumping up the cash finally read the script and decided to withdraw their backing. Herzfeld wasn’t to be deterred though and he took to crowdfunding to plug the financial deficit. Sadly he ended up getting his vision on screen, meaning that we’ve had to endure a script that feels like it was written by a mediocre film student with a dream of being the next Paul Haggis. Sadly, Collection doesn’t even succeed on a visual level and it feels as if Herzfeld and the producers went for bargain basement tech credits in order to bring the film to the screen.
I went into Collection hoping that it would be quite good. I generally like to root for the underdog and I’d hoped that John Herzfeld’s perseverance would pay-off in bringing something interesting to the screen. Unfortunately, this hard work and calling-in of favours has led to a film that is surely a disappointment to all involved.