‘Paint’ stars Owen Wilson

Category: Movies

The new movie Paint stars Owen Wilson as Carl Nargle, a celebrity painter in Vermont whose PBS show is highly rated. His personality, however, when it comes to women doesn’t rate as high. But his fans adore him and his personality is over inflated due to all the adoration.

Carl’s show instructs the viewers on how to paint landscapes – particularly Mt. Mansfield, one of Vermont’s famous landmarks and its highest peak. While the industry and indeed the world have moved forward, Carl is stuck in the past and in his heyday.

When the station brings in another painter who is younger, peppier, and a woman, Carl’s ego takes a hit.

The film’s director, Brit McAdams, said, “Carl Nargle’s been the biggest thing in Vermont Public Television since his van was cool. And while his jeans still fit, his world view does not. Owen had remarkable success at a young age and he’s aware firsthand of how that can affect people.”

Carl still drives his beat up van, wears his ‘70s style clothing, and is a child of the ‘70s in philosophy and manner. “The thought was that Carl Nargle is trapped in the past like Vermont is in some ways,” says McAdams. “Vermont has stayed very bucolic. We were coming from the perspective that if your jeans fit in 1982, why would you change them? If Carl is still comfortable, why would he change anything? We leaned into the feel of the ’70s, right down to the music.”

The score in this film is a blast from the past with many of the songs that made up the soundtrack of the time. According to McAdams, “I really fought for music that had two characteristics: I hadn’t heard it in other films and it told the story of this character. Like Carl, the music is trapped in the past. Owen and I gravitated towards Gordon Lightfoot in look and feel for Carl, so we included his classic ‘If You Could Read My Mind.’ It’s such a beautiful and haunting song, I couldn’t believe we were able to license it. Carl has some highs and lows along the way, and incredible songs like Heart’s ‘Barracuda’ and Dolly Parton’s ‘Coat of Many Colors’ help tell his tale. Hit songs from a few decades back by Black Oak Arkansas, Steve Forbert, Kris Kristofferson, Jerry Reid, Crow, and Don Williams (among others) set the whole film in a specific time and place.”

Carl might remind audiences of the painter Bob Ross due to his hair and his way of speaking. He speaks in soft tones and brings his viewers into his paintings, like Ross. Viewers might think this film was based on Ross but it really wasn’t. Carl and Bob Ross are two completely different people, however they do look and sound alike! Will audiences enjoy watching Carl as much as they have enjoyed watching Ross? We’ll see. It opens in theaters April 7, 2023.

Paint is rated PG-13 for sexual/suggestive material, drug use, and smoking.

About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment industry for over 25 years. She also writes about products and travel. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, is the entertainment correspondent for Good Day Orange County, and has her own TV show, Beyond the Red Carpet, on Village Television in Orange County. She is a longstanding member of the Television Critics Association and is accredited by the MPAA. Follow her on Twitter.