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Amber Neko Meador
Jennifer's thirtieth birthday party is supposed to be a special day. But what starts out as a day of celebration quickly spirals into a most ill-fated day Jennifer wishes she could forget, in this ensemble comedy set entirely in a kitchen.
Wonderfully-woven tale by First-Timer Justin Schwarz
Writer-Director Justin Schwarz gives us a wonderful gift for his first feature in "The Discoverers." The movie follows the plight of Lewis Birch (played wonderfully by Oscar-Nominee Griffin Dunne), a recently separated father of two, trying to recapture his past literary and scholarly glory.
A road trip with his new-age, vegetarian daughter (Madeleine Martin) and his rebellious son Jack (Devon Graye) to a major literary conference to promote the release of his upcoming book - that he is still struggling to finish - is put on hold after he received a distressed phone-call from his brother Bill Birch (a nice cameo by John C. McGinley) relaying that his mother is very ill.
It is revealed very early on that his mother had indeed passed, and it is up to Lewis to make all the arrangements. Shortly thereafter, the doctor relays to him that his father Stanley Birch (Stuart Margolin) is in no mental condition to be alone.
Soon, Lewis and his two children are following Stanley on a Lewis and Clark re-enactment trek. You can imagine the drama that ensues from there. Emmy-Nominee Cara Buono is absolutely charming as Nell, one of the re-en-actors, who seems to fancy Lewis. Dreama Walker also gives a notable performance as Abigail, a daughter of one of the re-en-actor's, who takes up a romance with Jack.
But, Schwarz - along with Dunne's fine performance - are the glue that holds this interesting and entertaining movie together. It's a wonderful first-time feature for Schwarz, and I would highly recommend it. It's currently in a plat-formed select theatrical release, and if it hits your city, it's well worth the price of admission.
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