CERTAINTY, written by Mike O'Malley and directed by Peter Askin, is not a great movie, but it's a good enough one to deserve a shout-out: smart, thoughtful and caring about some things that will impact young people sooner or later, should they decide to connect in any kind of permanent way. Jumping off from (and coming back to, again and again) one of those pre-marriage counseling sessions, offered by the Catholic Church as requisite before the couple can be married in that church, the movie then flashes back and forth between events that have led to the point at which this couple now finds itself.
Tom Lipinski (above, left) and Adelaide Clemens (right), are the about-to-be-married couple -- he of little faith, she of a lot -- who, along with a number of other couples, are taking this crash course in "responsible marriage." We get to know quite a bit about Dom's family -- mom (Valerie Harper), sister (Tammy Blanchard) and deceased dad) and less about Deb's (her dad sings in a barbershop quartet), but the pair seems like quite the happy, made-for-each-other couple. Well, maybe...
Bobby Moynihan as her husband; Will Rogers as Dom's best friend, Kevin; and Kristen Connolly (also seen this week in Ex-Girlfriends!) as Kevin's old flame. In fact, Askin (who, a few years back, gave us the fine documentary on Dalton Trumbo), gets good performances from his entire cast, top to bottom, and delivers a crisp, smart movie overall. Despite the movie's rush to tie up the least interes-ting loose ends, which does push the proceedings toward melodrama, it's still Dom and Deb we're most interested in. But I suspect that the screen-writer really wants to show us various kinds of relationships and how they work (or don't). He's just packed in a little more than his movie can properly handle.
Certainty (nice title!) opens this Friday, November 30, in New York City at the Quad Cinema, and will most likely hit DVD and/or VOD sometime soon.