My wife and I saw the trailer for Tumbledown in front of something else we just rented. I’d not heard of it before, but I’m becoming a bigger and bigger fan of Jason Sudeikis. I added it to my DVD.com que immediately and managed to watch it with my wife. I only knew what I’d seen in the trailer and while Tumbledown isn’t perfect the story it told connected with me and feature two really great performances. Tumbledown feels like it’s Not Quite Golden, Ponyboy.
Tumbledown is an interesting take on the ROM-COM
Hannah (Rebecca Hall) is finding it hard to move on after the death of her husband, who was an acclaimed folk singer. Andrew McDonnell (Jason Sudeikis) is writing a book that would include her husband and his persistence forces her to confront her losses. After struggling to write her husband’s biography alone, she offers to hire Andrew to help her create her husband’s legacy.
Sudeikis is witty and charming as always and Hall is great playing the stand-offish widow. The two characters work well together and the film manages to really make it unclear what their relationship is going to be. As always, I’ll avoid any spoilers, but the film works really well at keeping both characters interesting and believable. There is one moment in the film where Andrew definitely seems to violate Hannah’s trust, and when she finds out her reaction is so human and understanding it surprised me. Usually, in a film like this it would result in him being told to leave and a big yelling match would ensue.
This is director Sean Mewshaw’s first feature film, and he is always credited with writing the story listed along with four other writers. I’d say he did a great job of building both characters stories and keeping the audience slightly unclear of their motivations. It builds suspense and intrigue while you’re getting to know the people in the story. I could see people nitpicking aspects of the story, but for some reason it worked for me. I really like Andrew even though I was distrusting of him for parts of the film. I was worried for Hannah as going through a tragic loss of a loved one would be incredibly difficult. I definitely was invested in the film.
There are some unnecessary moments with Joe Manganiello that are there simply for a quick bit of conflict. Curtis (Manganiello) is a manly man that has the hots for Hannah. He views Andrew as a threat despite Andrew being clear that he has a woman already. Removing Curtis from the movie would have no negative impact at all as Hannah is still in a relationship with her dead husband and neither man currently interests her in the way Curtis is worried.
I don’t know if this will do it for everyone. Technically, it’s a romantic comedy, but it feels more drama than comedy. I mean that last statement in a good way as the film works really well as a drama with the natural human element of comedy coming naturally from the characters. It’s not perfect, but I definitely enjoyed the film.