Writer-director Jack Piandaryan has a lot on his mind; it's too bad he couldn't have put it all into a more coherent and convincing package than the half-baked thriller "The Parallel."
What exactly is this time-tripping cautionary tale trying to say? Piandaryan floats past every stock lesson from "Youth is wasted on the young" to "You reap what you sow," but mostly it's a case of "Don't take two hits of X then go off and get busy with your girlfriend's hot best friend."
That drug-induced misstep gets Danny Fitzgerald (Taylor Hart), a cocky high school senior en route to Harvard, into a mess of trouble. So much so, it seems, that the golden boy wakes up more than 20 years later an alcoholic loser without a clue as to how he got there, much less how to get back to the night it all went wrong. Think: "Peggy Sue Got Married," but in reverse, with an unsympathetic male protagonist, subpar acting and lots of first-draft dialogue. The film's theory, that maybe we're all living two parallel lives -- if we even exist at all -- is intriguing, but it's rarely taken beyond the notion that Danny's just dreaming it. The result is, to be charitable, underwhelming, narratively and visually.