Kent Osborne stars in this unusual film about suicide and a corrupt Hollywood industry. Academy award nominee and brother of Kent, Mark Osborne, insightfully directs this dark comedy. While Mark harbors a unique vision and has a strong visual flair his directing may be a bit sophomoric and unpolished in the last half. Dropping out never takes its self too seriously and that's what saves it in the end. Consider an early scene where a chipmunk eats a branch which falls on Emile's TV wire killing the picture. Emile then proceeds to slit his wrist in a bloody but humorous scene. Believe me it worked. I had the pleasure of meeting the director and star in my film class at Cal State Long Beach and they said is the same Kent's character Emile was the same from "School Ties" just grown up and a lot more troubled. Emile, at the beginning is on the verge of committing suicide when he gets a call from a slow hotel owner, Adam Arkin who offers Emile a night time job. While on the job Emile befriends a fellow colleague and gets him to agree to delivering a suicide tape to his ex girlfriend. This simple act for various reasons escalate and soon this little tape becomes a full on Hollywood production.
The goal of the movie, I think, was to show a dark and complex world of Emile in the early scenes. The colors are darker in these early scenes and they are juxtaposed with vibrant dream sequences where the look remarkable. Then as his death wish becomes more and more publicized and the crew for his documentary becomes exponentially larger the feel of the picture is purposefully that of a rushed and insincere Hollywood picture. There are some great cameos from John Stamos who plays a porno editor looking to make it big, and Katie Segal as a promiscuous barfly. The supporting cast from Second City vet David Koechner, and Vince Vieluf find a nice comic tone. The final product of "Dropping Out" lands somewhere in between Capra's Meet John Doe and Robert Altman's "The Player," but never manages to gel into a great picture, it held back its political criticisms. The message "Dropping Out" could have been a much more sharp and merciless satire, which could have made its impact better. I would still give "Dropping Out" a hearty recommendation despite its minor shortcomings. I'd give this film an 8 out of 10. This would make a decent rental if it comes out any time soon.