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catch and release
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Catch and Release

Starring Jennifer Garner, Timothy Olyphant, Kevin Smith, Sam Jaeger with Fiona Shaw and Juliette Lewis
Written and Directed by Susannah Grant

IN SHORT: zzz. [Rated PG-13 for Sexual Content, Language and Some Drug Use. 111 minutes]

Just a personal note, we always know a film is in trouble when the dramatic action takes a backseat to a nonstop soundtrack of songs (as opposed to a composed score).

Gray Wheeler's (Jennifer Garner) fiancee, Grady Douglas, dropped dead on her. Good thing she's living in god's greatest gift to creation, Boulder Colorado, where nature is spelled in capital letters, and healthy living is the way to go. Unless ou close the doors and then all sorts of depraved stuff comes rockin out <vbg> She "finds comfort" in the community of the dead guy's firends: pudgy funny guy named Sam (Kevin Smith), uber-responible guy Dennis (Sam Jaeger) and the dead dude's bestest childhood friend, Fritz (Timothy Olyphant) who flew in from LA just to pronounce sentence "How could you be his best friend? You're just the kind of girl he hated!" [is he a self styled "player". Guess what?] Gray didn't know her fiance at all, as all the scum rises to the surface in a town where there's no reason not to speak ill of the dead.

Of course it being Boulder CO, Gray can't meet the rent on the yuppie manse she and Grady were to inhabit. In come the old dead guy's friends to help meet the rent and, well, Boulder is the most perfect place on the face of the earth dontcha know. Fritz stays too, which thrills Gray no end. She, wrapped up in taking care of the final estate odds and ends -- how communal since they never legally hitched -- discovers a hidden bank account with a million bucks in it and unexplained monthly $3000 payments to a woman in LA; a "masseuse" called Maureen (Juliette Lewis) . . . In New York we'd call 'em whores, but life is more mellow up in Boulder. and Maureen has a seven year old son, says Fritz, named Mattie and, do I have to explain everything??? Yeah, well, Mattie is actually three and a half and the progeny of el deceased fiance. So what's Fritz been smokin'? Somebody is lying about something so everybody piles into the house to let tensions rise and fall, and other things rise and fall, while all the stuff floats to the top of the proverbial pile.

Legallly, if Mattie is indeed a legit kidlet, then he inherits a ton of cash that didn't go to Gray 'cuz, well, the wedding didn't actually happen . . .

Dennis builds a Peace Garden memorial. Sam beds Maureen. Gray learns to sing kumbayah. Cranky almost nodded off. . . but we love the soundtrack. So buy the CD

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Catch and Release, he would have paid . . .



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