Two highway road workers spend the summer of 1988 away from their city lives. The isolated landscape becomes a place of misadventure as the men find themselves at odds with each other and the women they left behind.
Pete and Debbie are both about to turn 40, their kids hate each other, both of their businesses are failing, they're on the verge of losing their house, and their relationship is threatening to fall apart.
A Princeton admissions officer who is up for a major promotion takes a professional risk after she meets a college-bound alternative school kid who just might be the son she gave up years ago in a secret adoption.
A grown man caught in the crossfire of his parents' 15-year divorce discovers he was unknowingly part of a study on divorced children and is enlisted in a follow-up years later, which wreaks new havoc on his family.
Shy 14-year-old Duncan goes on summer vacation with his mother, her overbearing boyfriend, and her boyfriend's daughter. Having a rough time fitting in, Duncan finds an unexpected friend in Owen, manager of the Water Wizz water park.
Dispatched from his basement room on an errand for his widowed mother, slacker Jeff might discover his destiny (finally) when he spends the day with his unhappily married brother as he tracks his possibly adulterous wife.
Two French Canadian ne'er-do-wells travel to New York City with a scheme to get rich quick selling Christmas trees. Easygoing charmer Rene (Paul Rudd) clashes with misanthropic ex-con Dennis (Paul Giamatti), whose wife Rene just stole. Still, this odd couple must make an honest go of it in this buddy comedy. Written by
A few great actors in one deadpan script -- morality play does not a great film make. Not so cheery and eerily reminiscent of Antonioni's Il Grido in many ways. If you're not used to the accents you could use subtitles for some of the dialog.
So, the main character is so sad that you don't laugh, there is that Indie no music and dull- - mundane camera work, but you want to laugh. Giamatti's character is not quite an idiot or a genius, not rehabilitated or remorseful, but he has hope -- kind of. Then there's his ex-wife who's indifferent to him, as he is or was, and over what they were at one-time. Then there is the friend Rene played by Paul Rudd. Rene has a moral high-ground, he's not a thief, but he's an optimistic liar and he has good-looks working for him. Ironically Rene takes his old friend with him to NY out of guilt and need for a friend. So you find out a little bit about the two characters, and they work there magic -- sort of. I lost interest in the film a few days in NY bleak days until Olga comes around. Sally Hawkins character has a hard shell on the outside and a good heart on the inside. She speaks for people and about people. And all good holiday movies have a happy--sad climax and an anti-climax, this film is much sadder than most. (:
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