Stuck Between Stations (2011)

Stuck Between Stations
Director: Brady Kiernan
Writer: Nat Bennett, Sam Rosen
Cast: Sam Rosen, Zoe Lister-Jones, Michael Imperioli, Josh Hartnett, Nadia Dajani, Casey Greig
Seen on: 4.8.2021

Casper (Sam Rosen) is back in his hometown Minneapolis for a short while only. Out one evening, he runs into Rebecca (Zoe Lister-Jones). They went to high school together and Casper had a big crush on her back then, while Rebecca barely remembers him. Nevertheless they start talking and find that they enjoy each other’s company. With neither having a clear plan for the night, they end up making their way through town together.

Stuck Between Stations is a typical indie / mumblecore film by rather young filmmakers and how much you enjoy it will probably depend on how much you like those films in general. In any case, I am pretty neutral-positive about Stuck Between Stations, maybe more positive than my general stance towards mumblecore.

The film poster showing Casper (Sam Rosen), Rebecca (Zoe Lister-Jones) and Paddy (Josh Hartnett), once in pasted together close-ups, and once on bikes.

I am honestly not sure how the film got on my radar in the first place (I suspect it’s a remnant of my “Josh Hartnett is so pretty” phase, but lest you run out to find the film for the same reason: he is only in it for like five minutes, but then again he plays a tattooed leftie rebel, doesn’t get to be much more my type), but it was there on my list and when I didn’t know what I wanted to watch, I happened to choose it pretty much at random, not remembering anymore what it was about or even what genre it was.

That is just to say that the film came at me in quite the same way as the night it is about came at Rebecca and Casper: without much expectation, but with a lot of curiosity where things would take us, with some unexpected turns, but ultimately with no big revelations, but rather some small pleasures.

Casper (Sam Rosen) and Rebecca (Zoe Lister-Jones) trying to say good-bye.

There is a subplot about Rebecca having an affair with her professor which I found a little too clichéd and not particularly well-handled, but I did feel that the way Casper talks about being a soldier and his reaction to his father’s death were realistic and, more importantly, poignant. Generally, the switch between party mood and serious topics was well done.

Most importantly, though, it is a film about the connection between Rebecca and Casper (and a bit of a love-letter to Minneapolis) and their connection always felt real and believable. That gives the film its biggest strength, even if it didn’t quite push me from my seat with enthusiasm.

Casper (Sam Rosen) and Rebecca (Zoe Lister-Jones) almost kissing in a tent.

Summarizing: nice enough.

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