Saturday, December 7, 2013

Nate Meyer's unusual romantic-dramedy SEE GIRL RUN is most definitely worth a stream

Critics, along with much of the audience for small independent films, often complain about filmmakers not providing movies that are really new and different, that don't fall into the same old rut. This is especially true of the rom-com-drama genre, where almost everything that turns out "different" -- from the past year's The Stroller Strategy and I Give It a Year to About Time -- is met with reactions ranging from confu-sion to outright deri-sion. And so it seems to have been with SEE GIRL RUN, a smart and original look at life, love and family written and directed by Nate Meyer that you can stream now on Netflix but that, so far as I can tell, was first seen at last year's SXSW Film Fest and then went straight to VOD, bypassing even a slight theatrical release.

See Girl Run surprises in so many ways. First of all, it sets up our expec-tations, more because of what rom-coms usually do that what Mr. Meyer (shown at left) is actually providing, and then pulls us along as it proceeds to trounce most of those expectations. Yet this is done, under the deft hand of Meyer and his excellent cast, gently and quietly rather than (in the current Hollywood mode) raucously, sleazily or with the usual simple-minded ironies. Instead the filmmaker gives us a deeper look at heroine and (not quite) hero, as well as their family members, than expected.

Meyer is dealing with the oft-used "what if?" scenario but giving this a spin unlike anything we've seen. He wants us to think about, not what we might have, but what we have, then weigh it against some of our fonder wishes. He is telling us to look at what we already possess and ask ourselves what this is worth.

The excellent cast is led by one of independent film's finest actresses, Robin Tunney, above, who has continually delighted and surprised us -- from Empire Records and Niagara Niagara to Cherish and Investigating Sex -- and here does more of the same. Adam Scott, below, as her first and finest "boyfriend" is equally good in a role that, once the movie is over, you'll find yourself doubly surprised about. Supporting work is aces all 'round, from both well-known actors and others we're seeing for the first time.

I don't want to give away any more of the plot because it is that unusual. But if you are looking for a film that will upend in a genuine way so many notions placed front and center in most rom-coms, this movie should be your next streaming session. You can catch it via Netflix and Amazon Instant Video.

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