By Missy Schwartz
Updated April 28, 2009 at 12:00 PM EDT

Since not everyone can experience the downtown Manhattan hootenanny known as the Tribeca Film Festival in person, the folks at said fest have arranged for four short films to be available at the YouTube Screening Room. One of these shorties is Cutlass, a 16-minute interlude written and directed by Kate Hudson. It stars Kristen Stewart, Virginia Madsen, Dakota Fanning, Kurt Russell, and Chevy Chase, and it’s a devastatingly heartwarming story of the lifelong bond parents share with their children…when they buy stuff. Okay, fine. Perhaps I’m being a tad glib. Here’s the story: Madsen plays a mom whose daughter (Fanning) covets a $1,200 vintage guitar, which reminds her of the time her 1970s self (Stewart) convinced her pops (Russell) to help her buy her very first car from a man named Stan (Chase). The production value is sky-high — check out the lighting on Stewart in particular; girl looks gorgeous! — and obviously, Hudson has a leg-up on most first-time filmmakers when it comes to casting famous folks.

Click below and judge for yourself how Goldie’s little girl did in her first time at the helm. What do you think of Hudson’s final, shall we say, message, as spoken by Madsen: “Whatever makes you happy makes me happy. And money is no object…if you’re buying.” Ill-timed consumerist fantasy during a recession or sweet musings on the joys of parenting?