(director/writer: Katie Holmes; cinematographer: Martim Vian; editor: Sandra Adair; music: Graham Reynolds; cast: Katie Holmes (June), Jim Sturgess (Charlie), Derek Luke (John), Melissa Leo (Deborah), Zosia Mamet (Margaret),Becky Ann Baker (Jan), Spenser Granese (Sean), Thomas Hatz (Charlie’s friend), Mike Iveson (Homeless Person), Ed Dixon (Grandfather), Sandra Lucas (Nurse); Runtime: 101; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Shaun Sanghani, Jordan Beckerman, Jordan Yale Levine, Katie Holmes;  A Vertical release; 2022)

“Heartfelt but limp COVID-19 lock-down film set in the pandemic.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A modest and sincere low-budget rom/com written and directed by the actress Katie Holmes (“All We Had”), her second film directed, but one that did not appeal to me. Holmes also stars and produces this heartfelt but limp COVID-19 lock-down film set in the pandemic.

The 30-ish June (Katie Holmes), a vegan, is a struggling restaurant critic living in Manhattan’s Upper West Side who in February of 2020, at the start of the pandemic, plans to flee the city for a rented Airbnb in the quiet community of Upstate Hudson, N.Y. with her boyfriend John (Derek Luke). After arriving alone by sharing a ride with other fleeing city dwellers, John is a no show. texting he must stay home to care for his parents. Instead she finds a tenant who also booked the house and also has the idea of escaping from the downtrodden city, the earthy artist Charlie (Jim Sturgess), a fellow New Yorker. He gladly lets the attractive but snooty lady stay. After not hitting it off at first, they soon become friends and realize they have fallen in love.

June talks with their mutual friend Margaret (Zosia Mamet) and wonders about her relationship with John. Meanwhile Charlie is getting over a previous bad relationship.

Conversations flow, they take bike rides together, have some fun over karaoke, bond over junk food and beer, and have sex.

Its effort to counter the dangers of the virus and bad relationships with a gentle story to prove that even in troubling times love can be found, wasn’t a strong enough message to arouse me.

REVIEWED ON 8/14/2022  GRADE: C+