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John W. Davis,
Stephen P. Sides
It's Tuesday in Cleveland; a storm arrives that will last three days. We watch rain fall as we listen to a DJ and the jazz he plays at WLOH. We also watch separate stories of a cab driver who's suffered a recent loss, a janitor who may lose his job, a junkie whose infant daughter is in the care of the woman's abusive father, a couple who argue after she won't let him give a restaurant dessert to a homeless man, a tile maker desperate for money to buy clay for a new job, and an alcoholic, prevaricating father whose adult son is long-suffering. Each is isolated, each seeks a connection; some find one. Written by
First, this is NOT a film of the Richard Greenberg play that Julia Roberts tanked in on Broadway; that is due in 2008. This film attempts to adapt six Anton Chekhov short stories into 72 hours in rain-soaked Cleveland. To say that it, too, tanks - would be an understatement. The joy of re-interpreting the great Russian author's smaller works must have pleased writer/director Michael Meredith more than it does the viewer. The six stories never intersect as one might expect, depriving the viewer of some sense of a dramatic fabric. If, perhaps, they had been played in a linear fashion, one following the other instead of inter-cut, the limited nature of their sad stories might have been a bit more satisfying. Or had Meredith let the viewer know that these were unconnected stand-alone stories based on existing stories, expectations for more might have been tempered. But as it is, six stories are just too many. Adding to the soggy woe, the majority of the simple tales are weighed down by lonely and unlikeable characters, the obvious and dreary 'umbrella' theme of a three day rainstorm, and some highly uneven playing by the actors. Limited to short-story characters, most of them strive in vain to create even the most basic character arc. THREE DAYS OF RAIN will inevitable be compared to CRASH (it pales) and - all too soon - Richard Greenberg's far more intriguing narrative.
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