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Finding Neighbors (2013)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 40 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 2 critic

A formerly acclaimed graphic novelist goes looking for true connection outside of his marriage, and over the fence.

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Sam
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Mary
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Jeff
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Sherrie
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Paul
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Mike
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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Bill
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Luisa
Christopher X. Lee ...
Porn Couple Guy (as Chris Lee)
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Office Employee
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Woman at Party
Ross Kidder ...
Vagabond
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Coffee shop patron
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Carlos
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Jane
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Storyline

Finding Neighbors is a comedic drama about three sets of Los Angeles neighbors who are searching for true connection. Six months late on a book delivery, stay-at-home graphic novelist Sam Tucker (Michael O'Keefe) has succumbed to a full-on mid-life and creative crisis. Between ice cream, television and a severe case of writer's block, Sam mourns the loss of his youthful inspiration. After his stellar early success and the subsequent failure of his last project, Sam has become unable to move forward. Sherrie (Julie Mond), the provocative girl-next-door, offers him an easy and willing distraction. But it is Sam's budding friendship with another neighbor, Jeff (Blake Bashoff), which helps him begin to reconnect with his creative thread. After a ridiculous misunderstanding, the men start to spend time together. Their playful and unlikely camaraderie frees each of them from the weight of their pasts. But Sam reveals nothing of this to his wife Mary (Catherine Dent). And as he begins to ... Written by Ron Judkins

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Find yourself, next door.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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25 October 2013 (USA)  »

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Neighbors  »

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User Reviews

 
a rare treat from a modern drama
20 December 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Sam, the protagonist of Finding Neighbors, is a man in crisis, of a sort, struggling to deal with writer's block and the frustration of getting older. Stop there and I must, frustratingly, admit that I can relate all too well on both points. Dig a bit deeper into this film, however, and discover something magical. While the concept of an aging writer searching for… something – his youth, his muse, his soul – is nothing new, the story of Sam certainly is.

Writer/director Ron Judkins utilizes the tagline 'not your Daddy's mid- life crisis movie' to draw attention to Finding Neighbors, and I feel hard-pressed to think of of a more appropriate or accurate way to boil this film down to a simple phrase. Where other 'mid-life crisis movies' take their leading men (or women) down often-implausible paths of depression or terror or acting out, concluding either with an even more impossible super-happy-fun-time resolution or a depressing-cum- frightening descent into (choose one) madness/violence/catatonia, Finding Neighbors takes Sam down a less traveled path. I refuse to offer spoilers, and will not divulge the details of Sam's journey, but I will clearly state that never before have I experienced a 'mid-life crisis movie' that is as engaging, entertaining, or ultimately satisfying as this one.

Michael O'Keefe wears the character of Sam so well that I can't help but state that this feels like the role he was born to play – and he's been in some fantastic stuff, including Caddyshack (!). Sam may experience a few pitiful moments, but he never falls into the trap of seeming pathetic, and that alone is a key differentiator between this film and most others of its kind. Catherine Dent (The Shield) shines as Sam's wife, Mary, deftly avoiding the traps that plague most 'wife' characters in most 'mid-life crisis movies' and never forcing me, as the viewer, to choose sides before any conflict even begins.

What locks me in to a 'perfect score' review of Finding Neighbors is the amazing supporting cast of neighbors that give the film its title. Blake Bashoff (Lost) is infinitely likable as Jeff – imagine a perfectly charming blend of Jon Cryer and Matthew Broderick – while Julie Mond (General Hospital) steals every scene she's in by reinventing the sexy- girl-next-door archetype for the 21st century.

In short, Finding Neighbors is both sentimentally mature and as grippingly can't-turn-away-for-even-a-second as a classic action movie – both rare treats from a modern drama.


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