Frank Whaley is probably better know as an actor than as a filmmaker (my favorite of his many roles is that of the memorable "kid" in the David Mamet/Danny DeVito sort-of-biopic Hoffa). After seeing this filmmaker's exquisite little chamber piece, LIKE SUNDAY, LIKE RAIN, however, it may be that, from this point on, you'll best remember him as one terrific movie-maker. (The film's title actually refers to the name of a particular piece of chamber music composed by one of its two main characters.)
Julian Shatkin -- is concerned. Rather than spill the beans, I'll leave you to discover the details on your own. Whaley makes them wonderfully specific and fascinating, while Shatkin embodies them with rare grace and charm.
Leighton Meester (above, of Gossip Girl fame and the crummy crime film, By the Gun). Ms Meester is a revelation here, so perfectly attuned to each event and moment that she and her co-star create together a kind chamber music duet of acting moments that register as real, touching, funny and, well, just very special. By turns tentative then slowly growing stronger, Meester's character blossoms under Shatkin's tutelage, just as his does under hers.
Debra Messing, above, right, in fine, funny form), their housekeeper (Olga Merediz, above left), with Billie Joe Armstrong (below), who registers strongly as Eleanor's punk-ass boyfriend, and J. Smith Cameron (memorable, as always) as her not-so-hot mom.
Monterey Media and running a near-perfect 104 minutes -- is available now on DVD and via (some) digital outlets. I hope it makes its way onto Netflix streaming soon.