A couple who is expecting their first child travel around the U.S. in order to find a perfect place to start their family. Along the way, they have misadventures and find fresh connections with an assortment of relatives and old friends who just might help them discover "home" on their own terms for the first time.
A well-known actor, who hasn't accepted a role in four years, is considering a project. The cousin of the director drives him to Archie's Ranch Market, in Carson, and drops him off to do a little research. He's fascinated by one of the checkers, Scarlet, a young woman from Spain with a preternatural ability to ring up items at the cash register. She hates her job, stuck at the 10 items or less lane. The actor chats her up, and when her shift ends, he asks for a ride. In the course of the afternoon, he helps her prepare for a job interview. She needs to have confidence, he needs to commit. Human contact, however brief, can change people. Written by
High Scores for Honesty and Simplicity in a Meaningful Dialogue
10 ITEMS OR LESS was made in two weeks on a shoestring budget by writer/director Brad Silberling, just a little film shot in Carson, CA that feels like the entire story was improvised...in the best sense of the word. Silberling had the good fortune to pair veteran actor Morgan Freeman, in between his big projects, with Spanish actress Paz Vega, and the result is a dialogue between two people from different vantages who manage to enhance the life of the other.
Morgan Freeman plays himself - yet part of the comedy is that he is depicted as an actor who has been out of work for four years, scouting a location for a little 'filler film' to get back into the flow of things. His 'role' is to be that of a market manager and he is dropped off at seedy market in Carson where he encounters, among others, one Scarlet, the girl at the argumentative 10 Items or Less checkout line. Not only is Scarlet tired of her static job, she is also generally angry about her philandering husband (Bobby Cannavale), currently sleeping with Scarlet's lazy co-worker (Anne Dudek), and her lack of ability to get a decent job elsewhere. The two pair after a few shared problems and off they go on a 'road trip' that results in each of the characters growing from the presence and life story of the other.
It is a simple story, simply told, but because of the tender bonding between Freeman and Paz it works very well. This is one of those little films about human relationships where being vulnerable to change and exchange is the message. It is well worth viewing, and this is a DVD that has featurettes that are touching, informative, and comic - a pleasure to view. Grady Harp
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