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Overall Rating

Awesome: 17.39%
Worth A Look73.91%
Just Average: 4.35%
Pretty Crappy: 0%
Sucks: 4.35%

2 reviews, 11 user ratings

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I'm Reed Fish
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by brianorndorf

"Fisk makes Fish more Fun"
4 stars

There’s a precarious tightrope “I’m Reed Fish” walks on, straining to preserve balance as it toys with the conventions of indie heartbreak cinema and proper emotional expression. It’s a quirky, self-aware diatribe on the fallibility of love, but it has this constant state of fatigue that I found enchanting.

Reed Fish (Jay Baruchel, “Undeclared”) is a small-town celebrity, squeezing out a living working the same radio beat his deceased father enjoyed success with. When ex-girlfriend Jill (Schuyler Fisk, “Orange County”) comes home from college for the summer, Fish finds old romantic feelings bubbling to the surface. Caught between his need to please his stable fiancée Kate (Alexis Bledel, “Gilmore Girls”) and the liberty from his confined world that Jill provides, Fish begins to lose his patience when his beloved hometown starts to turn up the pressure on his future.

The way “I’m Reed Fish” commences, potential viewers might think they’ve stumbled upon “Northern Exposure” leftovers; the picture works a familiar variety of eccentricity to paint a cartoon portrait of rural community claustrophobia and merciless observation. The opening is a crude summary of Fish’s everyday life, and thankfully director Zackary Adler seems in a hurry to skip past the fluffiness of the material and find more fertile emotional ground to explore.

Written by Reed Fish, there’s nothing in the film that clues the viewer in on what we’re actually seeing. Is this an autobiographical sacrificial offering to his past mistakes, or is the film a fantasy? “I’m Reed Fish” actually comes across as both, and that mixture of strange confidence and overwhelming doubt is where the picture finds major success. Adler is marvelous arranging Fish’s woozy romantic troubles and his character arc is something I’m positive many will relate to. Evoking a smothering sense of poisonous romantic yearning and horrifying personal inventory results, “I’m Reed Fish” hits those sharp notes of characterization often, in the middle of a plot that dances around convention perhaps one too many times.

Though billed as a comedy, “I’m Reed Fish” doesn’t offer many jokes. It’s something of a shock, considering Baruchel’s gift for laughs, yet it’s a picture hoping to tell a more personal story, not step over itself for giggles. The whole cast (including Katey Sagal, Blake Clark, Chris Parnell, and DJ Qualls) puts in lovely work trying to help this story rise above mediocrity and sell Fish’s anxiety, but I was especially taken with Fisk, who not only delivers a performance of previously unseen grace (it’s career-best work here), but she also performs some folksy ballads that expose just as much warmth behind the microphone and she holds in front of a camera.

I was less enamored with a critical plot twist, revealed at the 20-minute mark, just when the film is starting to gel. Of course, I won’t reveal the details of the curveball, but it leaves the picture in a state of confusion and isolation. Essentially, Adler and screenwriter Fish strip their film of reality, giving the material a slight Charlie Kaufman quality that ruins the heartfelt thump of the piece. The intent is obvious; without it, the film would run dangerously close to painful navel-gazing and usher in serious questions of logic. With this perplexing second layer of reality, the film is permitted a chance to extend the experience through sheer oddity. Truthfully, I would’ve preferred the picture lead with its heart instead of ridiculous self-awareness.

Even with a gratuitously miscalculated narrative speed bump, I appreciated “I’m Reed Fish” for its modest charms and respectful performances. Its emo-lite undertones might urge some viewers to break the DVD in half 10 minutes into the film, but for those more in tune with formula of the conflicted heart, this picture takes great care to keep you satisfied.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=14346&reviewer=404
originally posted: 09/10/07 02:23:26
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Tribeca Film Festival For more in the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

11/14/10 George Franklin Great film, and I loved the twist! 5 stars
5/09/08 lorenzo charming film. there is never enough schuyler fisk. 5 stars
10/07/07 Tiffany Losco I didnt like it, found it boring. Only watched it cause of Alexis 3 stars
5/12/07 Hansel Best teenie romantic comedy in the last 10 years 5 stars
5/19/06 Cody G. Good date movie! 4 stars
5/06/06 Tanya F. We saw it at Tribeca and liked it. The cast and crew were there and they were very nice. 4 stars
5/04/06 Dwayne Shartusse Very enjoyable and with a couple of cool twists. 5 stars
5/03/06 Dylan Music saved this film. 4 stars
5/02/06 Lisa R Cute - not mindblowing, but great cast and sweet film. I'd pick Schuyler over Shiri though. 4 stars
5/01/06 Mike Saw this at Tribeca and it was horrible 1 stars
5/01/06 Mary Scott Singer A wonderful film. Surprising and heartwarming and frequently very, very funny! Great! 4 stars
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  01-Jun-2007 (PG-13)
  DVD: 18-Sep-2007



Directed by
  Zackary Adler

Written by
  Reed Fish

  Jay Baruchel
  Alexis Bledel
  Victor Rasuk
  AJ Cook
  Shuyler Fisk
  DJ Qualls

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