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Walking to the Waterline (1998)

 -  Drama  -  13 June 1998 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 294 users  
Reviews: 19 user

Matt Mulhern stars as an out of work sit-com actor visiting his empty childhood home on the Jersey shore while struggling to make sense of the loss of his father, his past, and, for one funny and heartbreaking week, himself.

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Title: Walking to the Waterline (1998)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hallie Foote ...
Lucy Bammer
...
Francis McGowan
Kara Silver ...
TV Newscaster
Neil Rattigan ...
TV Weatherman
Ron Parady ...
Admiral Winston
...
Duane Hopwood
Karen Mulhern ...
Terry McGowan
Jack Mulhern ...
James McGowan
Connor Mulhern ...
Brian McGowan
Brian Meade ...
Young Francis
Garrett Walters ...
Policeman #1
Mark Steelman ...
Policeman #2
...
Man on the Beach
...
Paul
...
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Storyline

Francis McGowan is a man with a purpose who instead gets side-tracked during one surreal week spent trying to figure out what he wants from a business that makes very little sense to him, a woman he's sleeping with who's not his wife, and a father who has left him to fend for himself and didn't leave a map. Francis is an out of work sit-com actor returning to his empty childhood home on the Jersey shore to deal with the aftermath of his father's death. Instead, he gets sidetracked by indecision, self-doubt, and his childhood friend, Duane Hopwood. It's about losing your bearings while finding your way. Written by Fayette Street Productions

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Drama

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Release Date:

13 June 1998 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

Interesting personal film with many TV actors involved.
5 September 2002 | by (u.s.a) – See all my reviews

I caught this film by accident on IFC (Independent Film Channel) yesterday. I didn't really know what to expect, but I found the film involving enough to hold my attention.

Basically, this is a film about a man whose life is like a rudderless boat. Though we see only a week or so of his life, it seems clear that this is pretty much the way his whole life has gone. The main character, Francis MacGowan (played by writer/director Matt Mulhern) returns to his childhood home to sell the house after his father dies. He cannot, however, seem to begin the process, choosing instead to spend his days walking the nearby beach, recalling disparate events of his childhood. Eventually he makes friends with his dad's neighbors and meets Lucy (Hallie Foote) who falls in love with him. Unfortunately for Lucy, Francis is married.

Matt Mulhern is best known as Lieutenant Holowachuk on 'Major Dad.' (In the film, he plays an actor who appeared on a TV sitcom as a soldier. Does this imply that other aspects of the story are also autobiographical?) Also appearing in this movie are Beverly Archer and Jon Cypher (Gunny and the general from 'Major Dad'). Other TV actors include Alan Ruck and Michael Boatman (both from 'Spin City'), and Hal Holbrook (from 'Evening Shade' and 100+ other movies and TV series).

It's not mentioned in the trivia section for this film, but I'm pretty sure Hal Holbrook also supplied the dead father's telephone voice, which makes the scene on the beach between Francis and the old man just a tad spooky. Was this supposed to be Francis' dad giving him advice?

Everyone in the movie plays his/her role well, but Hallie Foote is a standout as the lonely tourguide who falls hard for this sensitive young man.

There are no car chases, fist fights, gun battles, not even a murder. No heroes and no real villains. This is a sweet and simple story of a moment of indecision in a man's life.

Some viewers will complain that nothing much happens here. I found it true-to-life and involving.


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