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Al Fountain, a middle-aged electrical engineer, is on the verge of a mid-life crisis, when he decides to take his time coming home from a business trip, rents a car, and heads out looking for a lake he remembers from his childhood. But his wandering takes him into the life of Kid, a free-spirited young man who helps Al escape from the routine of everyday life and find freedom to enjoy himself. Written by
Mike Myers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Director Tom DiCillo has all the attributes required for a top indie film maker. He displays a sharp humorous edge coupled with an all round smartness. But his advantage over his peers is that his works are permeated with a genuine and very winning romanticism (realized best in "Real Blonde").
The premise of "Box of Moonlight" is indeed a romantic one. Two complete opposites who by all accounts would steer clear of each other are instinctively drawn together when destiny wills a chance encounter. They will learn important life lessons from each other and part the richer. It is in effect a delightful spin on the buddy movie.
John Turturro and Sam Rockwell are the least likely buddies one could imagine. Turturro plays the rigid, time obsessive and orderly engineer against Rockwell's wild, irresponsible back to nature outcast. Turturro's Al Fountain senses much is not well in his life and subconsciously perceives that Rockwell's "The Kid" might just be what he is so much in need of; someone to release those parts of his personality which adulthood and its encumbering responsibilities has suffocated. "The Kid" indeed accomplishes this in a variety of ways including coaxing Al to reach his inner child in the wonderful tomato throwing scene and luring him into an touching adolescent one night stand with Floatie played beautifully by Catherine Keener, a DiCillo favorite. By the end of the movie Al will return home a far better husband and father.
Just how Rockwell's "The Kid" will be effected is less clear. He is clearly a severely deluded character functioning more as a symbol rather than a credible person. In lesser hands it could have come off ludicrous, but Rockwell nails it perfectly in what would be his break through role. There's a palpable chemistry between the buddies which is so vital for making this story work.
"Box of Moonlight" is a modern day fable, a cautionary tale reminding us not to allow adulthood smother us. It's a tale told with tremendous charm and a movie to be cherished.
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