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The Off Hours (2011)

 -  Drama  -  22 January 2011 (USA)
6.1
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 246 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 6 critic

A waitress working the night shift at a roadside diner in a small, industrial town becomes intrigued by a charming truck driver, while the diner's owner struggles to keep his dwindling business afloat.

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The Off Hours (2011) on IMDb 6.1/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Francine
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Oliver
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Stu
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Corey
Gergana Mellin ...
Jelena
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Danielle
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Ty
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Jenny
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Mandy
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kate Bayley ...
Chinese Restaurant Waitress
Alice Bridgforth ...
Bernadette
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Concerned Trucker
Ron Carrier ...
Frank
Gail Harvey ...
Betty
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Storyline

You're awake when everyone else is asleep. You're standing still as traffic is whipping by at 70mph. You see dusk and dawn everyday because they happen on your way to a time clock and then to a bed. Your off hours are spent trying to figure out why you're here, whether you want to stay, and how to leave. Written by The Off Hours

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User Reviews

 
Beautiful and moving, whatever its limitations and clichés...
12 December 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Off Hours (2010)

A lonely diner on some trucker route in the middle of nowhere. And so the employees as well as the passers-by are lonely, too.

This is a sad movie, but beautiful and felt. It's about several characters--truckers with families somewhere, an older employee who sells her body for the sake of a child far away--but it centers around Francine (brilliantly played by Amy Seimitz). Francine is a young night employee, and since the place is often empty she spends time with the occasional customer. We feel a weariness and toughness in the face of some lonely guys, and some lonely locals. Eventually she has to make a big decision based mostly on externals--not that she wants to, but that she must.

All of this is filmed with a slightly romanticized grittiness. It's made gorgeous and intriguing and not unfriendly, so you wish you could be there. The people have no glam, but they're real, and their concerns for each other penetrate the gloom. All of this makes the movie excellent, and I'd recommend it totally.

But you might eventually ask what the point of these intersecting lives is. Do we simply wallow in a kind of lost world where people are only sometimes happy but whose larger lives are mostly doomed to repeating dismay? Maybe. It's satisfying as a downer movie, but it's also about resilience and love. That's one redeeming aspect to life, as a whole, even when it's awful--there are sparks of true compassion, little gestures, larger attempts at warmth and even self-sacrifice.

That's ultimately what you'll get here--some very good people with very troubled situations. It doesn't matter what they do wrong. It's what they manage to do right that makes you feel for them, especially for Francine, who is a hard, soft, bright, sad, brilliant young woman to believe in.


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