Friday, May 18, 2007


Indie chowder

By Edward Copeland
No matter how many of the ingredients sound good — a talented cast, promising reviews, an interesting time period, an unusual locale — it's no guarantee that the recipe will produce a truly satisfying dish and that is sadly the case with Diggers.

Directed by Katherine Dieckmann and written by co-star Ken Marino, Diggers tells the story of four independent clam harvesters on Long Island Sound during the 1976 presidential election. The guys are slowly seeing their business evaporate as a company takes over more of the waters and their income with it.

Paul Rudd stars as Hunt, a guy almost more laid back than the movie itself. At the outset, he and his older sister Gina (Maura Tierney) have to deal with the sudden death of their father, a longtime clam harvester. There could almost be a Big Chill-vibe to the whole proceedings, except no one travels from far away for the funeral since they already live there and the film is so lowkey, no event seems to be particularly lifechanging.

In fact, there's nothing urgent in Diggers. It's not bad and it's not really boring, it's just so mellow and so little happens, that it leaves little impression at all. It seems as aimless as some of its characters, so when the "climax" happens, it doesn't resonate at all.

The 1976 setting doesn't seem to have much purpose other than I imagine this was the situation for clam harvesters then as opposed to now, but the parallels it seems to want to draw with the Ford-Carter election fail to connect.

Everyone is good, especially Josh Hamilton as a digger who deals in philosophy and drugs on the side. It's also nice to see Lauren Ambrose again after Six Feet Under, playing a Manhattanite involved in a flirtation with Rudd.

Diggers leaves me speechless in the truest sense of the word because really, I don't have anything to say about it at all.

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...Then why did you write about it?
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