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My Best Day: Film Review

My Best Day

The Bottom Line

Underwhelming family comedy isn't as nutty as it thinks it is.

Opens:

Friday, June 14 (IFP)

Cast:

Rachel Style, Ashlie Atkinson, Robert Salerno, Jo Armeniox, Raul Castillo, Harris Doran, Molly Lloyd, Haley Murphy

Director-Screenwriter:

Erin Greenwell

Erin Greenwell finds a tangle of family dysfunction in small-town Pennsylvania.

An amiable but unconvincing tale of family secrets and strained relationships, Erin Greenwell's My Best Day spends a hectic July Fourth following a woman on the trail of the father she doesn't know. With little to offer theatrical audiences, the picture seems destined for speedy sale to specialized video, where its incorporation of multiple gay relationships into a straightforward family-dysfunction premise may be a selling point.

When Karen (Rachel Style), a receptionist at a rural Pennsylvania appliance-repair shop, gets a call from a customer whose name she recognizes as that of her long-departed father, she convinces buddy Meagan (Ashlie Atkinson) to impersonate a repair tech and go on the call with her to meet him. But Dad has gone out, leaving his "friend" Eugene watching over son Ray, an adolescent oddball who's trying to learn wrestling so he can impress a girl.

After an unexpected drop-in from Ray's older sister Stacy, a gambling addict trying to steal the family's spare-change jar, Karen comes clean about who she is. Soon she's sidetracked by efforts to keep her newly reunited sibling gambling-free long enough to enjoy the holiday cookout coming that evening.

Other complications pile up, but their quirks feel deliberate and never hit the chaotic crescendo these films rely on. Adam Benn's flat photography underlines the script's lack of inspiration. Only Terry Dame's appealingly clanky score (performed by a "junkyard" version of the Indonesian gamelan ensemble) really succeeds at finding offbeat charm in this rustic story.

Production Companies: Smithy Productions, H Over Walking Y Productions

Cast: Rachel Style, Ashlie Atkinson, Robert Salerno, Jo Armeniox, Raul Castillo, Harris Doran, Molly Lloyd, Haley Murphy

Director-Screenwriter: Erin Greenwell

Producer: Erin Harper

Executive producers: Beth Bogart

Director of photography: Adam Benn

Production designer: James Gloria

Music: Terry Dame

Editor: Babak Rassi

No rating, 74 minutes