I thought this film was really well-made, very funny, and made me feel good shortly after I had been feeling bad enough to be having intrusive thoughts of a suicidal nature. I'm a fan of American films that feel anonymous, it may just be that I'm visually illiterate but I don't know where that cityscape in the film comes from. Nice yachts in the harbour though.
The film concerns a young man called Donnie, suitably nondescript and likable for an audience member to associate with, who has been thinking quite strongly of killing himself following a failed romance. Two quirky episodes, including a wander in the park and a first visit to the psychiatrist, put a bit of lead back in Donnie's pencil and give him some perspective.
I think the film is deliberately therapeutic, the other characters in the movie are a lot more colourful than Donnie, somewhat larger-than-life, which makes the film and the other characters mentors once you have transferred to Donnie. In this sense it reminded me quite a lot of the excellent and also aspirational recent feature Adam (2009 - Max Mayer), which came across as somewhat of a self-help guide for people with Asperger's Syndrome. Here I think what we really have is an anti-suicide pill.
A couple of notes on the players: I would like to say that the young lady (Jennifer Buntemeyer) who appears in a flashback in the movie is smoking hot. Which always helps. Phil Amico, who plays the Southern shrink Stein, is a man who can plumb enormous depths of charisma. I'd be very interested in seeing where this gent's career goes because he's capable of screen-stealing. David Lynch needs to add him to the Rolodex.
The movie does have twists and keeps you on your toes wondering what is going on as well as giving you a pastoral message of substance. It's quite clever actually the use of music in the film (Dukas), which is disruptively uncanny and keeps you guessing as to what type of film you're seeing.
The lines in this short are pretty good too, when Donnie is asked if he took drugs with alcohol, he said, "depends if I have had anything to drink", which made me giggle.
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