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Fairhaven

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Fairhaven
Written and directed by Tom O'Brien
Opens January 11, Cinema Village
Available on demand

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Indies don't come blander than writer/director Tom O'Brien's Fairhaven, a hackneyed tale of reunion set in a small, wintery New England fishing town where every sight of snowy fields or frigid waters is accompanied by sensitive plucking of guitar strings. Reluctantly back home for his father's funeral, Dave (Chris Messina) spends his time drinking, smoking, and palling around with best friends Jon (O'Brien), an aimless wannabe Hemingway, and Sam (Rich Sommer), a divorcé with a young daughter. Amid hooking up with a stripper and cursing at his mom, Dave admits to Jon that he had an affair with Sam's ex-wife, Kate (Sarah Paulson), which strains their friendship and exacerbates the already overwrought mood of regret, anger, and sadness over lost pasts and times. Messina's performance has a lived-in, emotional messiness, but the film is nothing but clichés. More enervating still, it doesn't even have the energy to follow through on its formulaic story lines, instead resolving all conflicts and romances by either ignoring them or simply having characters kiss and make up the morning after.

 
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