“Thanks for going to a special place with me,” Owen Wilson says in the new trailer for Paint, in which he plays a Bob Ross-style painter who hasn’t changed much since his 1970s glory days.
That special place is Vermont, home of the public television station where Wilson’s Carl Nargle is a soft-spoken megastar. But it’s also the dreamy landscapes he creates with his sensitive brushstrokes, one painting at a time, as the host of his own hourlong series.
The film, directed by Brit McAdams from his own Black List script, is a comical take on how Nargle’s unchallenging world is suddenly disrupted by the arrival of an exciting new public television painter, Ambrosia (Ciara Renée).
But it’s also a portrait of middle-age, as Nargle has to decide whether to stay deep in his comfort zone or give up some of his perhaps-too-comfortable routines. Carl Nargle is a man who loves paint, the outdoors, his old jeans, and fondue.
You may feel a PBS level of calm wash over you as the trailer’s irresistible blend of changing fall leaves, subtly audible brush strokes, musical bird calls and Owen Wilson enunciation gently wash over you. (Try listening with headphones — it’s as comforting as Bob Ross at his best.)
Here is the poster for Paint:
And while Bob Ross is an obvious inspiration, the film isn’t a retelling of his story. (If you’re looking for Bob Ross drama, Netflix has you covered.) Paint is about a wholly original character enjoying his gentle fame until his disinterest in change begins to threaten his easygoing lifestyle.
Besides Wilson and , the film’s stellar cast includes Michaela Watkins, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Lusia Strus, Stephen Root and Lucy Freyer.
Wilson, a veteran of films from The Royal Tennebaums to Cars to Marry Me, produces the film as well as starring.
McAdams, who began his career in commercials, soon moved on to short films and was nominated for an Emmy for creating Honesty, Comedy Central’s first series to go viral. He also directed Comedy Central’s highest-rated special, Katt Williams: American Hustle, as well as episodes of its highest-rated series Tosh.O.
McAdams has also written, directed, and executive produced specials, shows, and pilots for several networks and streaming services, and his feature documentary Triviatown was a festival hit that won multiple awards for best documentary.
Paint arrives in theaters April 7, from IFC.
Main image: Owen Wilson as Carl Nargle in Paint, directed by Brit McAdams.