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“Stuck Between Stations” Uses “Before Sunrise” Model Yet is Fresh and Invigorating

Review: "Stuck Between Stations"

This review was originally published during the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival, on April 24, 2011. It is being reposted for the film’s theatrical release.

The more one-night or one-day walk-and-talk romance films we get, I’m surprised that so many continue to work so well. Perhaps it’s for the same reason that real life conversations don’t get old after you’ve had a few, or a few hundred. Particularly those kinds of dialogues you have with strangers where you quickly click and immediately become great friends, maybe lovers. Just as they rouse and exhilarate when they happen to you, such encounters and experiences are typically stimulating when watched from the outside, as well. Brady Kiernan’s “Stuck Between Stations” depicts another of these moving voyeuristic stories and it’s just as easy to fall in love with as its predecessors.

While this film may not have the star power of Linklater’s Before Sunrise and Before Sunset (though Josh Harnett shows up for a cameo) or the twee appeal and soundtrack saleability of “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist” or the surprising developments of “Certified Copy,” it has very likable leads, adorable moments, heavy and deep exchanges and satisfying turns, basically all that’s required of this “walkie talkie” subgenre that is growing and so far technically nameless (feel free to use my term, although sometimes the characters in these films drive. Also: do we include longer-time-frame films like recent SXSW winner “Weekend”?).

In this one, Casper (Sam Rosen, who co-wrote the script with Nat Bennett) is on leave from Afghanistan for the funeral of his hippie-ish father and it’s his last night out in Minneapolis before returning to service. Drinking alone at a bar, he re-meets Rebecca (“Breaking Upwards” star Zoe Lister-Jones), who he knew from afar in grade school, following a mistaken, embarrassing attempt at valiance in her honor. And away we go, into the night.

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