Film

Something, Anything Is a Sure-Handed Portrait of a Woman’s Attempt to Feel Alive

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A perspicacious examining of intimate moments, Paul Harrill’s Something, Anything artfully circumnavigates narrative expectations in the manner of only the most thoughtful stories. Veering from relationship drama to romance to a coming-of-age film about an adult, Something, Anything refuses to pledge fealty to any particular genre, making itself at home instead as an astute study of one woman’s path to self-actualization.

The woman is Peggy (Ashley Shelton): She is married to Mark (Bryce Johnson), a not-particularly-considerate young professional, and pregnant with his child. That pregnancy turns into a miscarriage, which leads to the couple’s separation. Peggy’s one bright spot amid her loneliness is a bereavement note, filled with compassion, sent by Tim (Linds Edwards), a guy she knew in high school who is now, of all things, a monk.

As Peggy attempts to deal with her grief, she finds herself becoming interested in monasteries, reconnecting with Tim, and finding some greater purpose in her own life. She quits her job as a realtor and soon takes one at a library — books used to be a passion of hers.

It may sound a tad cute or quirky, but Harrill’s delivery of the material is utterly sincere, and the understated, respectful manner of his storytelling allows the intricacies of Peggy’s personal evolution to come across as engaging and authentic, never feeling contrived for the audience’s benefit. This is a sure-handed, complex portrait of one woman’s attempts to feel alive.

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