Watch The Wendell Baker Story
The Wendell Baker Story is a 2005 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Luke Wilson, his directorial debut. The film stars Wilson along with Eva Mendes, Seymour Cassel, Jacob Vargas, Eddie Griffin, Owen Wilson and Harry Dean Stanton. The script was written by Luke Wilson, his brother Owen Wilson and their friend, director Wes Anderson.
The film tells the story of Wendell Baker (Luke Wilson), a charming and charismatic ex-con who is sent to a halfway house after being released from prison. He quickly befriends a group of eccentric fellow residents, including Boyd (Seymour Cassel), a grizzled old man who is always building something, and Reyes (Jacob Vargas), a former mariachi musician who dreams of becoming a chef. Wendell also meets Doreen (Eva Mendes), a beautiful nurse who works at the halfway house and quickly becomes his love interest.
Despite his good intentions, Wendell struggles to stay on the straight and narrow, and soon finds himself embroiled in a scheme with Boyd and Reyes to rescue Boyd's estranged daughter from a dangerous situation. Meanwhile, Wendell also finds himself caught up in a rivalry with Neil King (Owen Wilson), a slick and ambitious businessman who is trying to take over the halfway house and turn it into a luxury condominium complex.
The Wendell Baker Story is a charming and quirky film that combines elements of romantic comedy and heist movie with a poignant story about second chances and redemption. Luke Wilson gives a strong performance as Wendell, bringing a likable and down-to-earth quality to the character that makes him easy to root for. Mendes also shines as Doreen, playing the role with a warmth and vulnerability that makes her and Wendell's romance feel genuine.
Cassel and Vargas also give standout performances as Boyd and Reyes, respectively, bringing a depth and complexity to their characters that make them more than just comic relief. Meanwhile, Owen Wilson is consistently entertaining as the slick and smarmy villain, Neil King, who serves as a foil to Wendell's more easygoing demeanor.
The film's plot is well-paced, with enough twists and turns to keep things interesting without ever feeling convoluted or overly complicated. The heist element of the story is also well-executed, providing some tense and suspenseful moments that are balanced out by the film's more lighthearted tone.
Overall, The Wendell Baker Story is a charming and engaging film that showcases Luke Wilson's talent as a writer and director. With its strong performances, touching storyline, and quirky humor, it is a film that is sure to leave audiences with a smile on their faces.
The Wendell Baker Story is a 2005 comedy. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.5 and a MetaScore of 44.