Paul Giamatti and Paul Rudd play two Canadians who travel down to New York to try and sell Christmas trees in their new film, called "All Is Bright." NY1's Neil Rosen filed the following review.
Paul Giamatti and Paul Rudd team up with the director of the film "Junebug" for a new indie movie called "All Is Bright."
Giamatti plays Dennis, a Canadian thief who's just been released from prison after four years. He comes home to find that his wife is now romantically involved with his ex-partner in crime, Rene, played by Paul Rudd. Making matters even worse, Dennis' wife has told their young daughter that his father has died of cancer.
Out of guilt, Rene allows Dennis to accompany him to New York as they become partners again, this time legitimately, trying to sell Christmas trees on a Brooklyn street.
This mismatched pair, one of whom bears a ton of hostility towards the other for stealing his wife, try to make a go of it, but business, initially, at least, isn't exactly booming.
Sally Hawkins plays a Russian house-sitter who after she buys a Christmas tree from Dennis, winds up befriending him.
The film was directed by Phil Morrison, who had a promising debut in 2005 with the movie "Junebug" and has taken eight years to make another film. Unfortunately, this movie was not worth the wait.
"All is Bright," which can be best described as part dark comedy, part character study, more often than not misses the mark, as the movie has a dreary quality to it. Giamatti's character, Dennis, who is basically a loser, mopes around for much of the film, and this grows tiring very quickly. Rudd's character is a bit more upbeat at times, but even he's defeated by the extremely uneven script by Melissa James Gibson.
Hawkins, who dons a Russian accent here, plays a character who isn't fully defined, and although Giamatti and Rudd are also very fine actors, this isn't the vehicle for either of them, as they fail to make much of this work. What comedy there is doesn't really click, and the overall tone of the film is not only sad, it's pretty pointless but ultimately boring.
Neil Rosen's Big Apple Rating: 1 1/2 apples