(a film review by Mark R. Leeper)

CAPSULE: With HELLO LONESOME writer, director, producer, and cinematographer Adam Reid tells three stories of love, dependence, and tragedy. In each story two people meet and form an unpredictable relationship. Reid wears a lot of hats in making his first feature film and can wear them proudly to see the result. He gives us a broad range of emotion in a small film. Rating: +2 (-4 to +4) or 7/10

Adam Reid writes, directs, produces, and even films this movie with three stories of relationships (two romantic, one just friendship). The three stories are nearly but not entirely unconnected, and in the fashion of INTOLERANCE the stories are told in parallel with the climaxes all at about the same time.

Bill (played by Harry Chase) is a voiceover artist who is recently separated from his wife and now lives by himself. He is barely connected with anyone. What hurts him the most is that he cannot connect any more with his daughter. He verbally jousts with his courier, Omar (Kamel Boutros) but eventually tries to build a friendship.

Gary (James Urbaniak) is a copy editor who lends a helping hand to a neighbor, two years a widow, old enough to be his grandmother Eleanor (Lynn Cohen). Eleanor has faltering vision and now has to give up her last love, her car and with it her freedom. Gary offers to help her get around and becomes friends with her in spite of his communication problems. Slow-speaking and awkward, he is embarrassed to talk to her and it is not improved by his penchant for saying the wrong thing, an ironic fault for someone who edits words for a living. But for Eleanor he may be the last bond she will form with anyone, and she needs to hold fast to him.

Meanwhile young love is represented by Gordon and Debbie (Nate Smith and Sabrina Lloyd) who meet on the Internet and get together for what they expect to be a quick, casual sexual relationship. As with the other stories, this one will take the two someplace they really do not expect to go.

Reid's concept of the film is, I would guess by the title, to give us portraits of six lonely people. He gave us three engrossing stories, but if his aim was to show us six lonely people that part is open to interpretation. Gary and Eleanor do seem to be lonely, though Eleanor seems to miss her car as much as any human contact. Omar, Gordon, and Debbie may not even be solitary. Debbie has an active social life. Omar is frustrated that he cannot use his talents, but we know little of his personal life. It is hardest to feel much sympathy for Bill, who likes playing the bad boy. He is boorish and likes to embarrass Omar by coming to the door naked but for gaudy briefs. Bill is newly solitary, but not necessarily lonely. In the end Bill's relationship to Omar matters the least. It will be more practical than emotional and Bill may be very little different at the end of his story than at the beginning. While Reid gives the most attention to Bill, in the end it is the story of Gordon and Debbie that is the most affecting.

As an unusual reversal though the film is a United States production shot in the United States, but the stories seem set in Canada. I rate HELLO LONESOME a +2 on the -4 to +4 scale or 7/10. HELLO LONESOME opens May 27, 2011 at Cinema Village, New York.

Film Credits: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1258201/

					Mark R. Leeper
					Copyright 2011 Mark R. Leeper