After 20 years of lugging gear and setting up equipment for the Blue Oyster Cult, Jimmy (Ron Eldard) is unceremoniously fired and abandoned by the band members he considered to be friends. With no identity outside of his status as a roadie and no life plans, Jimmy ends up heading back home for the first time in a decade. After crashing in his old bedroom, Jimmy comes into contact with Randy (Bobby Cannavale), his high-school nemesis who happens to be married to Nikki (Jill Hennessey), an old flame he never really got over. With nothing to show for his time away from home, Jimmy begins making up stories and eventually draws Randy's ire, creating an uncomfortable situation that further messes with Jimmy's already fragile mental state.
Roadie is like a conflict between two mountain goats (I know that "bighorn sheep" would be a more scientifically correct title but "mountain goat" just sounds better): one goat represents the acting in this film, chiefly that of Eldard, and the other represents the storyline and general exposition of said storyline. The Acting Goat is an outstanding specimen. Eldard is one of my very favorite character actors, a guy who always draws my attention no matter how big or small his role in a given movie may be. (This makes him a member of the "Barry Pepper All-Stars", a list of actors I really need to write a piece about one of these days.) This is a rare leading role for Eldard and he shines brilliantly. Jimmy is easy to root for despite not really showing many qualities that usually make one likeable and that is due to Eldard's ability to convey a measure of truthfulness, or perhaps relevance, to his character. The lack of purpose and the search for meaning in his life work make Jimmy an appealing protagonist in this sort of slow-paced, character-driven drama. There is also an edge of genuine desperation to Jimmy and through this trait Eldard gives real weight to a character which otherwise might have been pointless. The supporting players around Eldard are all solid as well, though none quite measure up to the work of the leading man.