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Only the Young & Tchoupitoulas (DVD Review)

7 May, 2013 By: Ashley Ratcliff

Box Office $0.015 million (Only the Young), $0.019 million (Tchoupitoulas)
$29.99 DVD
Not rated.

The pairing of documentaries Only the Young and Tchoupitoulas in one DVD set presents an intriguing look at two very different worlds that are very similar at the same time.

Only the Young finds three friends — Garrison, Kevin and Skye — at the height of their teenage angst, as they face high school graduation, foreclosure and a revolving door of love interests. They live in a Southern California desert town rife with abandoned houses and empty swimming pools that create prime opportunities for skateboarding and assorted adventures.

In Tchoupitoulas, three brothers — William, Bryan and Kentrell — experience one wild night in the bustling city of New Orleans during Mardi Gras, where they encounter a hodgepodge of musicians, showgirls, vagrants and every thing in between. The film intensifies when the boys and their trusty pregnant pit bull, Buttercup, miss the last ferry and are stranded in the city.

Tchoupitoulas resonated the most with me, and viewers can’t help but develop a fondness for Willy, the quintessential pesky little brother. While his fully loaded arsenal of questions can be annoying (If you could meet any dead person, who would it be? If you could be any height, how tall would you be?), he is wise beyond his years, and at times seems more level-headed than his older siblings.

Willy has big dreams of being 21 forever, flying to California to meet his dad and getting his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Both films have subjects who, while they don’t have the best things, have an inspiring resolve to get the most out of life.

Only the Young includes deleted scenes and a short doc with other young subjects. Tchoupitoulas is scant on bonus material, but the lone featurette that follows the Ross brothers on their quest to make the film is worthwhile.

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