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As the seasons change in a Connecticut town, two men of different age and backgrounds who work together outdoors for the local park system, share thoughts and feelings that gradually deepen into a relationship approaching father and son. Paul is just out of prison for armed robbery, assigned to work with Murph, a middle-aged vet whose grown son Bobby is dying. Paul is trying to control his temper and build a spiritual side based on reading. Murph is a down-to-earth Sancho Panza to Paul's more ethereal ideas. And Murphy seems to need forgiveness for mistakes as a dad. As Murphy's retirement approaches and winter sets in, the men talk and love blossoms. Written by
Spring Forward is the story of a friendship between two men who work together as lanscapers and maintenance men for a small city. Liev Schrieber is the well-read, ex-convict Paul who is trying to get back on his feet. Ned Beatty is Murph, a family man who's probably in his fifties. There's a generational gap, but the men seem to share quite an interesting friendship.
The movie, however, is just so real that it becomes quite boring. The story takes us through the seasons and it is about 99% dialogue and 1% action if you consider landscaping work and the aftermath of a funeral action. The men engage in such deep conversation about all sorts of things like their different perspectives on religion, on morals, on sex, on fatherhood, and so forth. I don't think that it is totally uninteresting and I think it was material better suited to a novel than a film. Nothing really happens and the conversations, after awhile, seem endlessly strung together, as though the topics just change by chance, but the talking never stops. I really must say though, the cinemtagraphy was beautiful with such rich colors and all that.
I'm surprised to see so many positive reviews, but then again, this might epitomized recent independent films as much as it can be, though (and I agree with one viewer who wrote this), the whole thing does seem rather pretentious. Sure, these guys have these deep thoughts on all of these abstract matters. But then what?
That's not to say that Leiv Schreiber and Ned Beatty don't give good performances. The material and the story just become so boring after a while, by that final scene as they drive down the snowy roads, you think something just then might happen that somehow reflects upon the friendship. Only, nothing ever does. It was boring like I found 'Chelsea Hotel' to be boring, although this movie at least brings up some interesting philosophies that the characters mull over, whereas in 'Chelsea Hotel,' no one even gives us that much to consider and entertain us. I still think 'Spring Forward' would have been better material for a novel.
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