This is another one of those films that slipped under the radar and I think deserves more attention. It stars the brilliantly versatile Joseph Gordon-Levitt (just made ‘Looper’ and so many more great films) as Chris Pratt. He was a promising ice hockey player and then one night whilst out with his girl friend and two bestest mates, he totals his car killing the friends and badly injuring Kelly. He wakes up some time later and has suffered brain damage. He now can not do sequencing so needs to write things down in a note book, all the time. He sometimes forgets things, gets angry and swears and can find everyday tasks impossible to do.
He lives with his blind friend Lewis, (the always excellent Jeff Daniels also ‘Looper and my fave ‘Gettysburg’) who is far more capable than Chris. He works as a night janitor at a country bank but his wealthy father still picks up the bills for major items. Chris just wants his old life back, but finds it hard to even open a can of tomatoes. Then as luck would have it he runs into a guy who was above him at school and he seems to really like him and even gets him to meet ex erotic dancer Luvlee Lemons (Isla Fisher who plays it with aplomb).
Soon he finds out why they are really interested in him and the title of the film is a bit of a clue. What we have here is an understated gem of a movie. It is a story of regret, failure, loss, love and realising what really matters in life and it is done in such a way that it all comes across as really believable. Alex Borstein appears as bank clerk Mrs Lange and ‘Family Guy’ aficionados out there will know she is the voice of Lois Griffin, just a small part here though.
I really enjoyed this film and was going for 5 stars as I am a bit of a fan of both Mr Daniels and Mr Gordon-Levitt so was prone to be biased, but in a pique of objective restraint I went for 4 as this is good, even ruddy good but not excellent . I often hear criticisms of Hollywood but there is a role for most films and ones like this prove how good American cinema can be, in both its originality and high production values, heck they even use ‘My Morning Jacket’ as the musical intro. Seriously recommended and I still want to up this to 5, so please think 4 and a bit.