Gerald Wright's Movie Coverage
Directed by: Alan Hruska
Running time: 90 minutes
Release date: March 6, 2009
Distributor: Reunion Productions
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Reunion is an ensemble film. It is created much in the manner of such movies as Reservoir Dogs (1992) and A Prairie Home Companion (2006). All of the cast members are main characters. Reunion is written and directed by Alan Hruska, and tells a poignant story of dysfunctional friendship and love.
In the film, a group of smart and successful middle-age people meet years after their graduation to explore and rationalize who they have become. They were all all members of a Yale secret society. As in all reunions, old wounds are opened. In this case, a dead friend's secret is also revealed through her diary and letter.
Jake Burns (Brett Cullen), a trial lawyer and a published novelist, calls the group together for the event in New York. It would seem to be a joyous time in reuniting their closest friends from school. It has been ten years since the death of Jake's wife Janie.
The participants in the reunion are entrepreneur/mogul Lloyd (David Thornton) with his actress girlfriend Minerva (Alice Evans), who wants to become closer to him; Barnaby (Jamey Sheridan) a recovering alcoholic and his wife Emily (Cynthia Stevenson) who feels she has not succeeded as a writer; Sadie (Amy Pietz) is a former actress turned talent agent who has power but lacks fulfillment; Saul (Josh Pais) is a devoted Jew and successful doctor happily married to Beth (Jessica Hecht) who shines in the pride of her heritage; and Eamon (Christopher McDonald) who is a renowned wicked tongue journalist who unintentionally, brings his wife Anna (Anna Khaja).
The subplot in this film focuses on Jake. His love interest and legal assistant Averill (Zoe McLellan) is an aspiring actress who attempts to juggle her priorities.
Their so-called friendships hinges on envy and ivy-league competitiveness. The principal performers are assigned roughly equal amounts of importance in this dramatic production. In every scene, someone is attacking and someone is retreating. Reunion is almost like a sophisticated and dramatic version of the tv show "Friends."
The late Janie's wishes were to read her message to the group at the end of the meetings on Day 2 of the reunion. The performances are strongly authentic. The characters draw on each other's rivalry, competitiveness and admiration. The Director coaxed remarkable performances from an array of actors.
This is one of those films that gives a dramatic and insightful look into the fragility of friendship.
FILM RATING (A)