Stuck Between Stations
Becky (Zoe Lister Jones) is a grad student, sexually entangled with department faculty, in comp lit; Casper (Sam Rosen, also credited as screenwriter) is back home from Afghanistan for his father’s funeral and headed back to his unit the next day. They meet cute at a bar when he throws a punch at her roughhousing buddies. Curiously touched by this misplaced defense of her honor, Becky impulsively goes for a drink with Casper, and one beer turns into a night of improvised adventure and conversation, in which his muddled motives for the punch gradually become clear. He remembers her—obviously fawningly—from high school; she can’t quite place him. A digital-video take on the old whirlwind service romance à la The Clock, Stuck Between Stations is quite proudly shot on-location in Minneapolis, where director Brady Kiernan tries manfully to find enchantment in a world-for-two pedestrian odyssey through a middle-large middle-western town. There’s an overapplication of split-screen and woozy soundtrack cues to this end, but Lister Jones and Rosen do an appealing back-and-forth with lively dialogue, not dulled in the interest of realism. They reveal themselves as two born-privileged kids who’ve acquired battle scars to compare, in a denouement whose frank trauma is a gutsy break from the usual indie-romance’s first-world problems.
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