A hit at this year's Sundance Film Festival, Escape from Tomorrow, which opens at the Cedar Lee Theatre on Friday, certainly is a novel concept. Director Randy Moore decided to shoot most of the movie guerilla-style inside the Walt Disney World Resort; Moore's decision is highly ironic since the family drama that unfolds contrasts sharply with Disney's rep as "the happiest place on earth." Using handheld video cameras, the film's crew surreptitiously shot the scene without permission from the notoriously litigious Disney. Gutsy move.
As the movie commences, Jim (the Ray Romano-like Roy Abramsohn) gets word that he's lost his job while vacationing at Disney, but he refuses to tell his kids because he wants to have just one more day of fun at the amusement park. And so the family rides the monorail into the park and begins the day without any knowledge of his job loss.
As the day goes on, Jim begins hallucinating and at one point imagines that Disney princesses are actually escorts, and sees the Epcot Center go up in flames. His wife and kids start to sense that something isn't right. The film becomes increasingly surreal as Jim contracts what appears to be some kind of flu and begins to deteriorate.
The press release accompanying the film states that Moore is "subversively attacking our culture's obsession with mass entertainment." While that sentiment has resonated with some reviewers (notably the late Roger Ebert, who loved the movie), the film's message gets distorted once Moore lets his sci-fi impulses run amuck.