SXSW FILM 2012
By Don Simpson | March 16, 2012
Director: Nate Meyer
Writer: Nate Meyer
Starring: Robin Tunney, Adam Scott, Jeremy Strong, Josh Hamilton, William Sadler, Aubrey Dollar, Charles Techman, Casey Turner, Reza Salazar, Larry Pine, Stephanie Andujar, Brendon Bates, Marylouise Burke, Maureen Butler, Miles Doleac, Devin Guimont, Jonathan Guimont, Meagan Moses
Though they seem to enjoy a comfortable existence in Brooklyn, the romance in Emmie (Robin Tunney) and Graham’s (Josh Hamilton) marriage has evaporated into the ether. The spark is gone. Their sex life is non-existent. They fight constantly. So when Emmie is approached by a recruiter for a reality television that reconnects estranged high school couples, she jumps at the opportunity; but when the recruiter discovers that Emmie has had contact with her high school sweetheart, Jason (Adam Scott), they are promptly disqualified. (Oh and it turns out that Emmie and Jason never officially broke up.)
So Emmie takes matters into her own hands… She runs away from Graham and returns to her quaint hometown in Maine where Jason still lives. Not wanting to rush into things, Emmie plans to hide out with her brother Brandon (Jeremy Strong) until she can muster up enough courage to confront Jason. Unfortunately, Brandon is a recovering alcoholic and is living under the watchful eyes of their parents; so Emmie is forced to reluctantly return to her childhood home and stay in her old bedroom. Emmie’s family immediately realizes why she has returned home and they try to talk some sense into her; but being at home also fans the flames of emotion that she once felt (and maybe still feels) for Jason.
You probably think that you have already seen the plot of writer-director Nate Meyer’s See Girl Run played out countless times before; but Meyer respectfully approaches this quirky indie rom-com as a serious romantic drama. Most importantly, Meyer removes all of those annoying clichés that have somehow become inseparable from the rom-com genre. See Girl Run does not abide by the expectations that pop culture has perpetuated. For example, no indie pop ballads — or any songs with lyrics — were used (or abused) during the post-production of this film; instead Meyer relies solely upon his script and actors to convey the emotions of his story. Like a tedious restoration of a genre that has decomposed into an unrecognizable state, Meyer utilizes tremendous directorial restraint in order to reconstruct romantic [and independent] films to their original state…you know, back when writing and acting mattered more than snarky jokes, quirky directorial flourishes and a “next big thing” soundtrack. This is not to say that Meyer’s script is not purposeful. Despite its natural dialogue and realistic situations, See Girl Run is a carefully manicured and extremely calculated piece of cinema — but that is not such a bad thing.