The Sweet Life

The Orchard

LA Film Festival 2016

Kenny Parker (Chris Messina) and Lolita Nowicki (Abigail Spencer) are a disillusioned couple who meet by chance on the La Salle Street Bridge in Chicago and form a pact to drive cross country to the Golden Gate Bridge... to jump... together. Unfortunately, the suicide pact is the only thing they can agree on and the cross-country trip becomes a series of comic misadventures that lead to a climactic resolution on the Golden Gate Bridge where Kenny learns the value of true love and sacrifice.

  • Chris Messina
  • Abigail Spencer
  • Director
    Rob Spera
  • Writer
    Jared Rappaport
  • Producers
    Julie Lynn, Bonnie Curtis
  • Co-Producers
    Paul Jaconi-Biery, Matt Maddox, Jared Rappaport
  • Associate Producers
    Allison Avery Jordan, John Portnoy
  • Director of Photography
    Gavin Kelly
  • Editor
    Matt Maddox
  • Production Designer
    Denise Pizzini
  • Costume Designer
    Alysia Raycraft
  • Casting Director
    Amy Lippens

A personal favorite was director Rob Spera’s The Sweet Life, an off-kilter road film about Chicago strangers who stumble through a journey to the Golden Gate Bridge with plans of suicide. Spera’s intelligent direction gave the actors the space to develop quietly engaging characters. Spera said that after the second day of shooting, the script changed dramatically, with its original witty, barbed dialogue replaced with a lower key approach. Changing mid-race “was terrifying, but it was the right decision,” he explained. The result: a smart film worth seeking out.

- MovieMaker

All in all, The Sweet Life is an entertaining life affirming tale. Whether you’re a fan of buddy comedies, dramas, love stories, or a combination of all three; this film has a little something for everyone. If you are a fan of Messina or Spencer this film is without a doubt a must see. The combination of Rappaport’s script, the two lead performances, and the wonderful direction by Spera make the Sweet Life a real sweet treat.

- We Live Entertainment

Director's Statement

Kenny Parker and Lolita Nowicki’s unlikely story had me at…. two strangers-road trip-suicide pact. Kenny and Lolita are characters on the edge of the abyss with little to lose, trying to wring meaning and humor out of what’s left of their existence. They pose the big questions for me and I am more than willing to get on the road with them looking for the answers. The continually shifting landscape offers opportunities for change and underscores the journey in which Kenny and Lolita learn it’s not what you take with you but what you are willing to leave behind.  It is my privilege to have directed “The Sweet Life.”

--Rob Spera