Want to make an independent movie? Take a slacker hero, say, Duncan (Joshua Jackson), who’s gifted but keeps making excuses for not going anywhere. Put him in a setting with stereotypical local color, say, Minneapolis (lots of snow, the Vikings, the Replacements). Throw in a grandparent suffering from Alzheimer’s played by a venerable Hollywood star — Donald Sutherland would be hammily perfect. And then, of course, the free-spirit love interest played by someone kooky and cheap — Juliette Lewis! Of course! — who’s tough on Duncan but has issues of her own. Meet cute? She’s grandpa’s home-care therapist! Perpetually unemployed Duncan gets a job as handyman at grandpa’s building. His car breaks down, she gives him a ride, cue the bliss montage. Keep this going for two hours and you have a shot at Sundance. Jackson and Lewis bring some dry humor to their parts, but otherwise James Burke’s movie serves best as a template for a debased medium.
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