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Sweet Good Fortune (2006)

Jacob's Island, a barrier island located on Virginia's Eastern Shore, is a mysterious place - a seemingly parallel universe where legend has it an angel once lived. Enter Shelby Parks who ... See full summary »

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Credited cast:
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Shelby Parks
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Morgan Brooks
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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Thelma Little, Sweet Good Fortune
...
Bill Pierce
Molly Larkin ...
Marge
Liz Meenan ...
Turk
Brett Moye ...
Billy Ray
Alice Schreiner ...
Mildred
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Pincus
Derek Smith ...
Robert
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Earl
Oscar Wilkomer ...
Wilbur Travis
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Jacob's Island, a barrier island located on Virginia's Eastern Shore, is a mysterious place - a seemingly parallel universe where legend has it an angel once lived. Enter Shelby Parks who is spending her vacation on the island to pursue her one diversion in life - bird watching. Shelby is sophisticated, intelligent and motivated - a successful attorney who seemingly has it all. But she lives in the shadow of her dead husband. It has been two years and she still cannot let him go. Her guide while on the island is Morgan Brooks, an enigmatic figure who is mentally impaired, has no known past, and a knack for irritating Shelby in every conceivable way. But as time goes by she begins to see something special in this simple and unpretentious man. She also begins to piece together his past - a past that she never could have imagined. Not only does Shelby have to deal with Morgan Brooks, she finds herself sucked into a vortex of weirdness and the unexplainable. Thelma, the cook and ... Written by Anonymous

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What do these two people have in common?: She is sophisticated, intelligent, and motivated. He isn't.

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Comedy

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1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

A Lustrum
30 January 2007 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

I get films and scripts rather frequently, and it always puts me on edge. What if I don't like it, and I write something destructive to a budding creative soul?

And this came to me with a double warning. First, I was told the story before seeing the movie and it seemed so needlessly sweet and pandering it would hurt my teeth. Second, I knew that much of the production talent came from the local film school. That place is the center of Pat Roberston's university, designed to create evangelical Christian filmmakers (and lawyers!). Both are to go forth into the world and fight the devil. So when they contribute, its all part of their big story, one that scares the bejeesus out of me as they develop competence.

So to make sure I was as prepared as possible, I saw this together with Buneul's second film. If ever pretense could be applied to art, its there. It is among the most anticlerical movies ever made. It is as extreme in spiritual skepticism as I expected this to be in spiritual affirmation.

So much for background. The good is that this actually is a sweet film, the main arc and main character separate enough from established formula that we stay interested rather than disgusted at seeing yet another whatever. The conventional skills are rather good: direction, cinematography (which is particularly competent), editing, and the music. That music IS rather formulaic but it clearly was created just for this edit, so the aptness overwhelms the ordinariness.

The main character is brain damaged, and the acting in this case is more than adequate for the story. Some of the actors are inept, but it hardly matters as they are playing something akin to props: a psychologist and former buddy for example who are there to speak narrative that might better be shown. The serious blot in acting is the woman playing the genius mayor who doubles as the "angel-in-charge." The character relies on a current stereotype: built on an Aunt Jemima black mama framework, we now have the super-wise elder, a sort of superhero of nobility. In American film, this is a stereotype borrowed from the previously ennobled Indian Chief.

Perhaps an earlier version of the story had her in a more prominent role, suggesting divine guidance. We also have a storyline that "explains" what happens in terms of technology: our couple gets zapped by a love machine invented by a comic couple of handymen. But those drivers seem to have been put in the background to allow the story to be primarily driven by an apparently old- fashioned story of the discovery of love. The remnants of the other lines aren't strong enough to suggest ambiguity, so they muddle.

All in all, It was good. I'd recommend it over any Kate Hudson or Sandra Bullock project. You know what I mean: candy. It'll give you the same warmth they intend, but with less formula in the main and more obvious heart.

Oddly, the rather charming location might have been exploited better, but it is still a rather nice visit.

Its a rather surprising success for a first time writer. There's a bit about lipstick on a gun barrel which is somewhat inspired. I think he may have a future.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.


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