Nearing Grace review

:. Director: Rick Rosenthal
:. Starring: Gregory Smith, David Morse
Running Time: 1:30
Year: 2005
:. Country: USA

While I must admit being very skeptic watching the opening scene of Nearing Grace, which features an improbable mishap in a plane and a rehash of the ash scene from The Great Bukowski, the film then unfolds nicely, with good acting, an acute sense of humor, light tones of poetry, and most of all a great sense of cuteness as in honest TV shows such as The Gilmore Girls.

And it's by chance that I'm talking about the TV-like facture of Nearing Grace since its star, Gregory Smith, plays a character who struggles with teenage angst after the death of his mother, living with a father figure he tends to confront. Does it sound familiar? It should because it's the same premise as in the TV show Everwood, in which Smith stars in an identical role and setting.

I'm not sure if director Rick Rosenthal, to whom we owe the rough Bad Boys starring a young Sean Penn, and screenwriter Jacob Aaron Estes somewhat approached Nearing Grace as an extension of the TV show, but the result is too close, thematically and format-wise, to seriously considerate Nearing Grace as a "real" film.

Looking for some good TV, blown up on a big screen? Sit back, let yourself be carried by the predictable story, fall for the charming tone of the ensemble and enjoy the work of the cast, from Smith to Ashley Johnson and David Morse. Looking for some real cinema? Carry on.

  Fred Thom

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