6 Balloons, a dark drama about drug addiction, is a surprising headlining vehicle for its two stars, Dave Franco and Abbi Jacobson; two people who don’t exactly spring to mind as actors who would star in a bleak drama about drug addiction.
The film just made its debut at SXSW, which provides a small series of showings that will serve as a theatrical stop on the way to its imminent wide release to a device near you on Netflix.
6 Balloons Trailer
Katie (Jacobson) appears to be the stressed fulcrum on which her family hinges, most notably her brother, Seth (Franco), who is addicted to heroin, seemingly gleefully. Seth’s habit – problematic in its own right – is especially destructive, since he happens to be raising a two-year-old daughter. Consequently, Katie, who’s likely feeling guilty for serving as her brother’s enabler/cover-up person, decides it’s time to get immediate help. So, she sets off in the middle of the night in Los Angeles on a road trip to take Seth (with young daughter in tow,) to a detox center. However, it’s not exactly going to be a smooth, Point A to Point B, ride with Seth’s relapses, one of which (as the trailer shows,) takes place in a bathroom stall with his daughter literally a few feet away outside the door.
6 Balloons is quite the thematic turn for Dave Franco, who is coming off a co-starring role – opposite brother James – in the biographical comedy, The Disaster Artist, also known from crime drama Nerve and the Now You See Me films. Yet, for co-star Abbi Jacobson, best known as one half of the primary comedic duo – with Ilana Glazer – of Broad City, it’s an even bigger transition, going from a specialty in comedy to the pure bleakness on display in this film.
Jane Kaczmarek, Tim Matheson, Maya Erskine and Jen Tullock also appear in the film.
6 Balloons is written and directed by Marja-Lewis Ryan, who just made her written/directorial debut with last December’s comedy film, Liked, and is also attached to write a TV movie sequel to Showtime series The L Word. Here, Ryan uses the real-life story of producer Samantha Housman as the basis. As Ryan explains in a SXSW interview with Deadline:
“I think that her story unfortunately isn’t as uncommon as I want it to be. After a couple of years with the boom of the opioid crisis, I was like, ‘Wow, this story needs to be told.’ Because it’s very much in Abby’s character’s perspective.”
6 Balloons Release Date
6 Balloons will premiere on Netflix on April 6.