Committed [2000]

Thomas Jane stars as Beat writer and Jack Kerouac-crony Neal Cassady, in a promising film that quickly flops. Based on a letter Cassady wrote to Kerouac, the highly stylized film by Stephen Kay pretty much follows the former around as he does not much of anything at all. Keanu Reeves is incomprehensible as a friend of Cassady, and Kay's jazzy, angular, colliding style does nothing to illuminate the Beat icon's all-important internal life. If you're new to the whole Kerouac-Cassady-Beat world, this is not a good first stop; slightly better is John Byrum's 1980 Heart Beat, which at least introduces some of the principal figures. --Tom Keogh

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