On the surface, “The Color Wheel” looks like a low-budget, black-and-white, grainy film about two very disagreeable siblings on a road trip.
Come to think of it, that’s exactly what it is, but with a strange twist at the end.
The director/co-writer Alex Ross Perry stars as Colin, the younger brother to JR (co-writer Carlen Altman), who has just broken up with her college professor/lover and now must return to the scene of the crime and collect her things.
She persuades Colin to travel from Pennsylvania to Boston with her. Neither has much money. They try to stay in a seedy motel, but the clerk doesn’t believe they are siblings. When that explanation doesn’t work, they pretend to be newlyweds, but he insists on a kiss between them to prove their marital status ... Weird.
After the obligatory run-in with the pompous prof, they go to a terrible high school reunion party where JR tries to impress, and Colin hits on the former high school hottie, who is now just annoying.
Some of the dialogue is clever, like “Juno” clever, and there is some writing talent displayed here with the conversations, but the story is nonsensical and completely secondary. And that ending? Just bizarre.