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The Off Hours (2011)

 -  Drama  -  22 January 2011 (USA)
6.1
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 245 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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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Francine
...
Oliver
...
Stu
...
Corey
Gergana Mellin ...
Jelena
...
Danielle
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Ty
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Jenny
...
Mandy
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kate Bayley ...
Chinese Restaurant Waitress
Alice Bridgforth ...
Bernadette
...
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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22 January 2011 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

 
Well-acted, somewhat aimless; a slice of life
4 February 2012 | by (North Hollywood, CA) – See all my reviews

I saw this soon after seeing "Think of Me", another film about someone living at the less hopeful fringes of American life, so it was kind of a one-two punch, morale wise. Norman Mailer portrayed this lower class, small town life beautifully if more dramatically in "The Executioner's Song", showing how Gary Gilmore was just the poison flower of a whole weed-riddled garden. Here we see a waitress whose main pleasure seems to be having impromptu sex in bathrooms, whose closest relationship is an ambivalent one with her foster "brother" (drifting along on unemployment). Others around her have lazy sex, drink, generally just get by. To the degree that there's an inciting incident here, it's when she meets a slightly older man with more substance to him. But the real "story" is just the close-up view of these small-town down-and-outers going nowhere. There's a general mild hopelessness to this whole world which is certainly that of millions of Americans living get-by lives. It's never very compelling, which may be the point. Still, if one stays interested in these characters from the start, it is because they all have something engaging about them, whether it's a Serbian mail-order bride (now widow) showing a gruff sisterly concern for her younger colleague, a father yearning to re-connect with his daughter or the protagonist trying to live a life that is just a touch more responsible than the aimless one she's living here. The actors all do their jobs very well and the moody, slightly sordid texture of the film is a fair approximation of the small-town, off-the-main-road, atmosphere I know from some years in Upstate New York. So the film probably does what it is aiming for and is a worthwhile document of a certain slice of American life. But very little really happens and when it does it is, without being predictable exactly, not unexpected.


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