Saturday, November 10, 2007

Three Days of Rain: Grade A

Three Days of Rain (2003)
Peter Falk, Blythe Danner, Lyle Lovett, Don Meredith; Writer-Director Michael Meredith.

I stumbled upon this older DVD in my video store and I’m glad I did. It’s an indie presenting several small dramas connected only by the fact that they all take place during a three day rainstorm in Cleveland. The dramas are supposedly inspired by six Chekhov stories. In all but one the main character is down and out, struggling, desperately and hopelessly, it seems to us, to right the ship of life. An aging alcoholic lives in a shelter but maintains his fantasy of being a dapper player, but is forced to ask his son for money. A young drug addict visits her infant daughter in foster care with her father, a father who abused her as a child. She fears the worst for her daughter. A ceramic tile artist/contractor is broke, has an eviction notice, and tries to collect on a job he did for a woman who will not engage him but directs him to her accountant. In one story, the down-and-outer is a homeless man who asks a rich couple for their restaurant leftovers. The husband has a compassionate reaction but the wife keeps an alienated emotional distance from the beggar and refuses. That fracture grows into a crack in their relationship. The stories are two-dimensional, as short stories are, because there is no time to develop any texture, so they use obvious and well-understood character conflicts, nothing subtle. Still, what makes this movie great is the loving, sensuous photography and the hypnotic jazz music that plays throughout (Joe Lovano “and friends” perform original music by Bob Belden, in a bluesy style suitable to rain). Add to that fine acting and competent directing, and you have a real winner.

No comments:

Post a Comment