Screenwriter Reed Fish and director Zackary Adler's small-town tale is rooted in the evergreen story of trying to pursue a dream, and the perpetual push and pull between the security of the familiar and the challenge of change. Twenty-three-year-old Reed (Jay Baruchel) stepped into his father's shoes Mud Meadows' hometown radio DJ, and seems to walk through each day in a trance. His beat is is insignificant community issues and bizarre news stories, like an update on the town's own marvel, a zorse -- the offspring of a zebra and horse. But when old friend Jill (Schuyler Fisk) returns to town on break from a big-city college, Reed finds himself questioning his career, low-key life and impending marriage to childhood love Kate (Alexis Bledel, of TV's Gilmore Girls), and beginning to entertain the idea of breaking away from a repetitive job and know-it-all neighbors.
Despite a twist – the story is a movie-within-a-movie -- the film moves as slowly as an enervating small town day while examining the cost of setting aside larger ambitions in favor of coping day to day with unsatisfying jobs and too-comfortable relationships. Fish's tender evocation of being forced by a life-changing epiphany to find the courage to step outside the confines of routine is beautifully realized by an endearing ensemble, which includes Victor Rasuk, Katey Sagal, DJ Qualls and Chris Parnell. Devoted Gilmore Girls fans may be disappointed by Bledel's performance: Kate's calmly-paced dialogue is nothing like the rapid-fire patter of their beloved Rory. leave a comment --Megan Cherkezian
In an age when special effects and flashy cinematography often trump narrative, there's a particular charm to the plain-Jane story of self-discovery.