Release dateSeptember 12, 1997 (1997-09-12) (IFP Market) Music directorAndres Karu, Michael Ferentino, Ben Reed, Thomas Andrew Misner CastEion Bailey (Ryan), Robert DiPatri (Barret), Joseph Cassese (Todd), Carmen Llywelyn (Augustine), Jason Lee (Dennis Pepper), Scott Mosier (Larry) Similar movies12 and Holding (2005)
Teen boy Barret (Robert DiPatri) and his mother (Patricia DiPatri) relocate in an effort to start their lives anew after Barrets father dies. Although the transition is rough, Barret finds a friend in Ryan (Eion Bailey), an outcast who doesnt mind hanging out with the new kid at school. Ryan is prone to emotional instability, though, and when Barret is accepted by others in the student body, the jealous Ryan starts to turn on his one pal first with words, then with shockingly violent acts.
A Better Place is a 1997 drama film written and directed by Vincent Pereira. It stars Robert DiPatri and Eion Bailey. It was produced in association with View Askew, Kevin Smiths production company, and released to DVD by Synapse Films. It was nominated for the Golden Starfish Award for Best American Independent Film at the 1997 Hamptons International Film Festival.
A high school outcast new to town becomes friends with a violent loner still haunted by the death of his parents.
Barret Michaelson is an unwelcome newcomer in a public high school, often bullied by his new classmates. He has no friends until another misfit with a bad reputation, Ryan, saves him from a beating in the mens locker room. Ryan is a misanthropic existentialist with violent tendencies and a dark past. It is revealed that Ryans father murdered his mother and then committed suicide in front of Ryan when he was only ten years old.
The two become fast friends who spend much of their time together engaged in philosophical conversation, but their friendship comes to an abrupt halt when the two are involved in an incident with a local landowner who claims they are trespassing on his land. Ryan throws a rock at the man, causing him to fall and break his neck on a rock. The two manage to successfully make it look like an accident, but the incident forces Barret to pull away from his friendship with Ryan. This causes Ryan to become very emotional, and to purchase a black market gun. Barret soon agrees that they should put the incident behind them and continue to be friends, but Ryan becomes increasingly morose and attached to Barret.
When Ryan suffers a brutal beating at the hands of the bully against whom Ryan had originally defended Barret, he is consumed by a will for revenge, and makes it clear to Barret that he intends to shoot the bully to death. Barret tries as hard as he can to dissuade Ryan, but Ryan says its his "destiny" and insists that there is nothing Barret can do to stop him. As the moment of truth approaches, Ryan forces Barret at gun point to accompany him to the would-be crime scene. Ryan finds his enemy in a secluded area, smoking what is probably a joint (marijuana cigarette). Barret tries to warn him, but it is to no avail, and Ryan kills him. After the killing, Barret tries to incapacitate Ryan by hitting on the head with a rock, but it doesnt work. In a struggle, the gun goes off, claiming Ryans life. Barret then shoots him once again, and tries to turn the gun on himself, but by that time the gun is out of bullets.
Eion Bailey as Ryan
Robert DiPatri as Barret Michaelson
Joseph Cassese as Todd
Carmen Llywelyn as Augustine
Brian Lynch as Eddie
Bryan Sproat as Justin
Molly Castelloe as Meg
Dennis Pepper as Dennis Pepper
Vincent Pereira as Jake
Richard Lynch as Mr. Raimi
Scott Mosier as Larry
Stan Dunbar as Large rude student
12 and Holding (2005). Running on Empty (1988). Take a Giant Step (1959). Kevin Smith was an executive producer for A Better Place and appears in Vulgar. Foxfire (1996).
Themes include misanthropy, introversion, teen violence, suicide, fatalism, and existentialism.