A Remarkable Film
What a terrific movie! Besides being highly entertaining, A Remarkable Life gives viewers a great deal to think about. I love the way it combines drama, humor and romance -- just like in real life. To me, highlights of this fine motion picture include perfect background music, appealing characters (played ever so realistically by its wonderful cast members), and a story that touches the heart. Although I hardly ever cry while watching a film, one scene about how quickly the seconds tick away on a pocket watch actually made me tear up. But please donít ask me what my favorite scene is. Why? Because there are too many splendid ones in this excellent motion picture. Iím also impressed with the movieís first-rate production values.
But I expected no less from director/writer Vohn Regensburger, who caught my attention with his haunting first film, Last of the Romantics. Clearly, as a musician and composer, Regensburger realizes the importance of a movieís music score -- and his painstaking work on this component of both offerings adds considerably to the pleasure of watching each film. Regarding A Remarkable Life, Regensburger says, ďI put so much effort into that facet of making the film Ė composing the appropriate emotional tone for each character and each scene, yet trying to stay out of the way of the performances.Ē Mission accomplished, in my opinion.
A Remarkable Life tells the story of a man who finds his life falling apart and is forced to examine his identity, his manhood and his sense of self. Lenny (Chris Bruno) faces loss of his job, a son with Aspergerís Syndrome (Jack Horan), and a wife (Daphne Zuniga) whoís fallen in love with the sonís female doctor (Helen Slater). And you think youíve got problems! Fortunately, Lenny also has a caring father (Eric Roberts) and brother (Dylan Bruno) who try to help him out of his deep funk. Still, nothing seems to be working -- until along comes Chelsea (Marie Avgeropoulos), a gorgeous free-spirited young woman who takes an interest in Lenny's plight. Is she just what Lenny needs for an attitude adjustment? Itís great fun watching these two very different individuals interact romantically. But there are serious bumps on the road to love, especially from Chelseaís fiery ex-boyfriend Fang (Sean McNabb).
The very watchable Chris Bruno earns our empathy right away because of the problems his character faces, and the rest of the actors provide him with strong support. As Chelsea, Marie Avgeropoulos fills the screen like a force of nature, and Jack Horan tugs at our heartstrings in the role of Isaac, a great kid coping with Aspergerís. Eric Roberts exudes understanding and compassion as Lenny's father. Daphne Zuniga and Helen Slater just couldnít be better as the brave but sometimes confused wife and her more certain lover, respectively. Dylan Bruno and Sean McNabb make us smile by displaying varying types of machismo. In a smaller, but key, role, Mark Margolis almost steals the show. He portrays an elderly, adventurous man with memory loss. Sorry, but if I say anything more about this character, it will spoil things for you. Just make sure you stay for the entire end credits!
Although A Remarkable Life ends up as a feel-good movie, it deals with controversial issues like gay marriage and religious doubts. The importance of family members supporting each other comes across loud and clear here -- and I canít help feeling thatís an important message for viewers in todayís troubling times.
(Released by Gymnopedie Films/Panorama Productions; not rated by MPAA.)
NOTE: A Remarkable Life opens in New York, Boston and Denver on May 27, 2016. It will be playing at the Cinema Village in New York - 22 East 12th Street (Vohn Regensburger will be there in person for the 7:15 pm showing for a Q & A), in Boston at the Apple Cinemas in Cambridge, Mass, and in Denver at the Harkins Northfield 18. Then, on Friday, June 3rd, at the Laemmle Music Hall 3 Theater in Beverly Hills, CA.