Four Corners of Nowhere, The: Chbosky’s Generation X Tale

An ensemble piece about ennui-ridden slackers at loose ends, Steve Chbosky’s The Four Corners of Nowhere is yet another Gen-Xer aiming to provide an authentic portrait of values. With some satirical humor, Chbosky explains the aimlessness of his generation caught between the 1960s hippies and the 1980s yuppies. A low-budget, collectivist effort, the movie was shot in 23 days on the Ann Arbor campus of Michigan University. Recalling American Graffiti’s Wolfman Jack, and acting as Greek chorus, is a campus radio deejay who uses his program to rail at the 1960s as “nothing more than a bad movie with a great soundtrack,” taking potshots at those of his generation who subscribe to political correctness.

Duncan (Mark McClain Wilson), a pensively withdrawn student, is picked up hitchhiking by wildman Toad (Eric Vesbit), a drug-loving 1960s throwback. Arriving in Ann Arbor, they invade the household of Toad’s sister, Jenny (Amy Raasch), an aspiring singer who lives with a yuppie law student Calvin (Aaron Williams) and works at the local cafe. Jenny imposes her self-centeredness on her customers with touchy-feely environment songs. There’s also Hank (David Wilcox), an artist who suffers from a creative block. Duncan and Jenny are a bland, uninspiring pair: he’s a relatively inert personality who fancies himself a modern Rimbaud.