Drought, set in North Carolina circa 1993, is a coming-of-age film targeting a weather-obsessed Autistic teen named Carl (Owen Scheid). His family doesn’t exactly support his obsession, imploring him to cut the meteorology discussion at the table. After his troubled mother gets arrested, Carl unceremoniously gets fired from his job. His sister Sam (Hannah Black) orchestrates a road trip to chase a storm to cheer him up, stealing their mother’s ice cream truck and bringing along Lewis (Drew Scheid) and Lillian (Megan Petersen). The four take a mildly-eventful road trip that meanders its way through a predictable saga of pleasantries.
It’s a simple setup that’s essentially an indie blend of Little Miss Sunshine and Twister. Endearing performances, especially from Scheid, add a layer of charm. It’s a refreshing and sweet performance, and casting local Autistic actor Owen Scheid was a stroke of genius. This still doesn’t mask a hollow script. Though surface-level charming, it lacks a layer of polish, missing a biting crunch to its dialogue or emotionally-satisfying payoffs for character arcs. Drought is a cute movie, but it never pushes the envelope enough to win me over. Drought is currently available to rent or buy on Amazon Prime.