Mind the Gap

March 10, 2006 - This 2004 film was written and directed by Eric Schaeffer, who also stars as one of the main characters. The movie follows five people who are kind of stuck in life but who each find a way to move forward.

In addition to Schaeffer, the cast is made up mostly of people you probably never heard of before. The exceptions are Alan King (in his final role), Kim Raver (from 24) and Jill Sobule (who's known more for songs such as I Kissed a Girl than her acting).

As previously mentioned, the movie follows five people who seem resigned to the current state of their lives. King plays a curmudgeonly Jewish guy who bemoans the fact that his beloved New York City just isn't what it used to be. Schaeffer plays a single dad in Vermont who's still bitter about being left at the altar 10 years ago. Another character is Malissa, stuck in small town North Carolina, but reaching out through tape recordings of sounds from around the world. She hears various phrases, such as "mind the gap." Not knowing what they mean, she imagines that they all mean good-bye.

Sobule is Jody, a singer/songwriter who plays her music on a street corner outside Manhattan. She says she won't even consider going into the city unless she's invited to play at a club. The final character is John, living in Arizona and on the verge of suicide because his infidelity cost him his wife and child.

The characters have nothing in common except for the fact that, for one reason or another, they've become stuck and they need a way to move forward. The stories of this movie are about why they're stuck and how they eventually move forward.

Overall review: **** A great movie with an awesome soundtrack. The film is constantly surprising as characters are revealed in layers, eventually getting to the heart of why they are the way they are. In the end, each manages to break out and move on. The most symbolic is Malissa, who's last seen getting on the subway and finally learning the meaning of "mind the gap."