Movie Review - Tumbledown (2016)

There have been several films with this title. The last one was in 2013 and was co-written and directed by Todd Verow, an out-and-proud, Bangor, Maine filmmaker. Verow also directed a movie called Vactionland (2006), which its title is a nickname for the state of Maine. I didn't realize that nickname until this film where a character calls it out. The title of that 2013 Verow movie and this one references the Tumbledown Mountain, a high, rocky area in that New England state. However, this movie is not about understanding geography but the place is significant but not as significant as the filmmakers wish it were.

Rebecca Hall (The Town and Vicky Cristina Barcelona) stars as Hannah, the widow of a musician named Hunter Miles, a guy who only released one album but who has developed a cult following. She's attempting to write a biography about him. She works freelance as a reporter in a tiny, rural newspaper, run out of a bookstore. She's beautiful but lives an isolated life with her two dogs but she's not lonely.

Jason Sudeikis (Horrible Bosses and Race) co-stars as Andrew McCabe, a professor in New York who also is writing a book about Hunter Miles. He incessantly calls Hannah trying to get her interview. She resists, but he comes to Maine and eventually worms his way into her life. As a result, he starts to fall in love with her.

Joe Manganiello (Magic Mike and True Blood) also co-stars as Curtis, a deer hunter who works for the local power company. He's Hannah's nearest neighbor and a high school friend. He's now Hannah's sex buddy, but he has the quirk of bringing injured, cute animals for Hannah in lieu of flowers or chocolate.

The problem is that the movie wants Hannah to end up with Andrew. Yet, I didn't buy the relationship between Hannah and Andrew. I don't get why the two are attracted to each other. The real problem is that I don't get why Hannah was attracted to Hunter. We never get to know Hunter in any significant way. We hear his music and singing, as provided by Damien Jurado, but it's not enough, but what can be guessed about Hunter doesn't match with Andrew. The two don't seem to be anything alike.

It's not that Hannah has to go for the same kind of guy every time, but I don't see what's the big deal about Andrew. He's not as good-looking or as physically gorgeous as Curtis. He's not as rugged. He likes music but isn't particularly musical. His personality is a little off-putting. He's a smart alack and a bit annoying. Maybe she likes his writing, but it's something we'll never know because there isn't any voice-over of his writing for us to sample.

That being said, I don't even know why Andrew loves her. He says he loves her, but it rang so false. Besides being a beautiful woman, I don't get why he falls for her. Besides being Hunter's widow, there's nothing he learns about her that warrants his claim of love and his breaking-up with his girlfriend, Finley, played by Dianna Agron (Glee).

Written by Desi Van Til and directed by Sean Mewshaw in his feature debut, this is toned-down, romantic comedy. As such, it has to end with the two characters predictably deciding to be together, but honestly that's unsatisfying. I'm more curious as to what Hannah and Andrew's relationship would be.

It doesn't seem as if Hannah is going to leave Maine. She probably should because it doesn't seem like Andrew would have much to do in that rural, backwoods town. Maybe he could find a job, a teaching job at the nearest university and commute everyday. Will that be enough for him? What if his book fails and it doesn't sell? He so easily threw away his previous girlfriend, so what's to stop him from going off with the next musician's widow? He just doesn't seem like a solid dude on solid ground romantically.

Two Stars out of Five.
Rated R for a sex scene.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 43 mins.


Popular Posts