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The Waterhole (2009)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 61 users  
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At the end of their college years, Miller finds that he and his college buddies are growing apart as they choose different paths into the future. They are regulars at Murphy's, a popular ... See full summary »

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At the end of their college years, Miller finds that he and his college buddies are growing apart as they choose different paths into the future. They are regulars at Murphy's, a popular watering hole of choice where Miller and Jim meet with their buddies and are free to vent, decompress, and talk about life. Written by realndn06

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Happy Hour is Over

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29 March 2011 (USA)  »

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$200,000 (estimated)
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User Reviews

 
Sharp words from a sharp mind delivered by sharp tongues.
2 August 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Sometimes a movie will come along that doesn't have huge overpaid Hollywood actors, multi-million dollar budgets and exotic locales that make you wish you were there instead of where you are right now. Sometimes a film will just speak to us with real people, real locations and a real story. You know what I call this type of film-making? Refreshing.

Miller (Adams) spends most of his free time down at the neighborhood pub with his two friends, Jim (Carter) and the bartender, Murphy (Stasi). Miller's girlfriend, Ashley (Mozo) is always on his case about it, so he decides to rectify that by treating her to a very special evening out. After that successful (and funny) venture, he meets up with Jim and Murphy and fills them in on all the details. The next morning, Murphy pries Miller out of bed on his day off and surprises him by informing him that he bought the bar, based on his idea. With both of his friends taking new directions in life (Jim's moving out and getting married and Murphy owns a business), Miller has some choices to make about his own. He's not happy where he's at but at the same time, he's not miserable either. He's just kind of there... taking up space. And there's going to be nothing left in his apartment but space when Jim moves out. So, Miller tailspins into a free drinking bender (courtesy of Murphy now that he's the owner) and even has a one-night stand with one of the bar's patrons (Kullman). After a very cynical (and once again, funny) outlook on marriage, an old friend from the guys' past, Cracker (Klein), shows up. Cracker lets them know that he can't drink anymore because he went to rehab and sobered up. Miller finds himself down at the pub more and more, Murphy is making him pay some bar bills because Miller is getting out of control but, it's not until Cracker falls off the wagon that he realizes what he needs to do.

If not for anything else, you need to see The Waterhole for it's performances and sharp script. The characters have actual conversations that just flow naturally into the situation. There is nothing forced or fake here. This is as close to real as we can get. The characters, the situations, they're all relatable to everyone because we were all there ourselves at some point in our lives. Everyone's loved and lost, so the material is something everyone can get something out of. The actors do a very nice job of selling us the fact that they're a close-knit group of friends who've been together for many years. I can't single out anyone in particular because they all perform on a higher level than most actors working in big budget studio pictures today.

Keep in mind that this is an independent film and there are no car crashes or buildings exploding, this is a drama (with some humorous moments sprinkled throughout) about life, love, relationships and just what it all ultimately boils down to for some people. The director keeps the pace of the movie at a nice even level throughout, without losing our interest and it just might make you look at where you are in life, as well. It may be a bit slow, but the conversations the characters have is more important. If you focus your mind on the dialog and what they're saying, then you'll get a better understanding of the film.

One of the things that did catch me off-guard was how cruel Miller's character could be at certain times. I understand the hurt from his girlfriend, but I did not like the way he treated some other people after the fact. It was a bit off-putting and uncharacteristic. I've said time and time again in my reviews that audiences want to have likable characters in order to get behind them and root for them, but there were some times during The Waterhole that I couldn't stand Miller. But, as a whole, the movie works and I enjoyed the script above anything else. I'll forgive Miller for his sometime jerky-antics, something tells me that he would just blame it on the booze anyway.

More reviews at www.soveryterry.com

Final Grade: B+


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