Imagine a stand-up comic pulling into a very small and what appears to be a very tired town to perform what seems to be, oh, his umpteenth-thousandth routine in front of a room (maybe) full of people who (perhaps) will laugh (at him or his material?)
There we have the set up for <em>International Falls</em>, the 2019 comedy/drama directed by Amber McGinnis from the screenplay by Thomas Ward taken from his two-person play. Or is it a drama/comedy. OK, both. And both directions work.
That’s because Rachael Harris and Rob Huebel are at the top of their chops as Dee and Tim, yes, those two characters from the original stage play.
Dee is a townsperson who works at the hotel that holds that comedy room where Tim does his thing. She holds aspirations to be a stand-up, too, you see, so holds his stature in the business much, much higher than he does, before and after she sees his show.
They must meet, and he has to discover, uncomfortably, that her wiles have allowed her to discover that her husband has been cheating.
What follows is a quick friendship that bridges sadness, joy and a whole bunch of bumps and emotional bruises shared as she shows him all their is to see in this small, cold place across the frozen river from Canada.
Life can be funny, serious, ride a taught rail between both. They feel the jolt.
Of course, leave International Falls Tim must.
But that can’t be the end of it, can it?
The spoiler will not happen here.
I was quite happy to stumble upon this one on my library streaming resource hoopla Digital. It also shows up on Showtime. Watch it if you have room for big emotions from a little town.