30 January 2014 5:59 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Maggie Kiley’s first feature, “Brightest Star,” has all the trappings of a contemporary romantic comedy, but also the good sense to strive for a deeper examination of a young man’s search for his place in the universe. Expanded from Kiley’s 2009 short, “Some Boys Don’t Leave,” which starred Jesse Eisenberg, the full-length pic toplining smallscreen star Chris Lowell (“Veronica Mars,” “Enlisted”) premiered at the 2013 Austin Film Festival under the title “Light Years.” It’s a modestly scaled drama that’s a solid fit for day-and-date VOD and limited theatrical release, with a shot at a brighter future than most under-the-radar indies.

Opening with a young man (Lowell) passed out on the floor of an apartment, abandoned by his ex-girlfriend, Charlotte (Rose McIver), the storyline unfolds along two timelines. In the past, the pic tracks his pursuit of dream girl Charlotte, which begins in a college astronomy class »


- Geoff Berkshire

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