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HELLO LONESOME (director/writer: Adam Reid; cinematographer: Adam Reid; editor: Scott Rankin; music: Ted Gannon; cast: Sabrina Lloyd (Debby), James Urbaniak (Gary), Lynn Cohen (Eleanor), Harry Chase (Bill), Nate Smith (Gordon), Kamel Boutros (Omar), Cathy Trien (Tabitha), Dave K. Williams (Dean), Oly & Eli (Themselves); Runtime: 93; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Adam Reid; Film Movement; 2010)

“The promising film works but ends too abruptly without having a chance to be more impactful or profound.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

In his feature film debut as director, Adam Reid acts as writer-director-producer and cinematographer. Reid gets more out of this plotless modest quirky indie dramedy about ordinary people dealing with ordinary problems than I thought possible. The film is set in the upscale NY/NJ/Connecticut tri-state area, and presents three intercut stories that are connected only through the loneliness that affects its characters. The three disparate protagonists followed are the fifty-something Bill (Harry Chase, a real-life voiceover artist), the twenty-something Gordon (Nate Smith) and the seventy-something Eleanor (Lynn Cohen). They all find themselves for various reasons without a significant other in their present personal life and decide to do something about it with different results.

Harry has a professional soundproof recording studio in his posh rural country home, where he works in his underwear as a successful but eccentric voiceover artist but couldn’t be lonelier since his wife left him. The avid gun collector spends his free time at target practice in his yard, playing by himself in his huge outdoor trampoline, unsuccessfully trying to contact his justifiably pissed-off estranged married daughter via voicemail messages, and trading needling insults with his only regular live human contact–the opera-loving deliveryman Omar (Kamel Boutros) who drops off his daily work-related packages.

The lost soul Eleanor’s beloved husband died two years earlier, leaving her saddened without anyone to take his place in the cuddling department. When the DMV refuses to renew her license because of poor eyesight, Eleanor must sell her valued 1966 Thunderbird Coupe. Luckily she gets her much younger divorced suburban neighbor Gary (James Urbaniak), a droll work at home copy editor, to volunteer to drive her to the mall to run her errands and they unexpectedly begin a platonic relationship that has them sleeping side by side.

Gordon is a chipper bachelor city-dweller, who is into betting on sports online while sitting at his cubicle at work in his office job. The charming young man meets the sweet and vulnerable Debby (Sabrina Lloyd) through an online dating service and begins an instant passionate relationship, as they seem perfectly suited for each other. When she’s diagnosed with a severe case of breast cancer, the relationship takes on a new dynamic and things become more downbeat and serious.

The film’s theme is that loneliness if it is to be overcome depends on meeting someone else that matters. It’s a positive pic, that seems to tell us to never give up and have faith in humanity as all it takes is one person to make things good again. Though its characters are all well-developed and the sitcom fireworks showed more sparkle than your usual Hollywood mainstream offering, the three stories are not fully developed and they all end too morally pat, too reaffirming of the film’s agenda about nesting singles and the promising film works but ends too abruptly without having a chance to be more impactful or profound.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”