Movie: Fairhaven
Director: Tom O’Brien

Indie dramas can be very hit or miss. Some people will be able to find plenty to love about an indie film while others will watch the same film and struggle to find anything of substance. Every once in a while an indie film comes along that tells a story, but soon makes you realize that the real story was the characters and not what they were doing. Fairhaven is that kind of indie film, and it struck all the right chords.

Farhaven stars Chris Messina, Rich Sommer, and Tom O’Brien as three high school friends who all are back in their hometown due to the death of Messina’s character’s father. The story begins effortlessly with Messina and O’Brien meeting up and reminiscing and discussing where their life is now and where they think it’s headed. Soon they are joined by Sommer, the third friend in their group, who is divorced, has a kid, and never left town. Overall it is just a movie about friends hanging out after a long time apart, and this is where it truly shines.

This film does not explicitly move from A to B to C in terms of plot. It is more like life, unplanned and free flowing. We know there is an impending funeral and the friends will only be back together for a short period of time but predicting what they will do with their time is nearly impossible. The characters and their interactions seemed so real and natural it is hard to believe you are not watching a documentary. This is mostly due to some great and subdued acting on behalf of the cast. People say things that you have heard from your friends, and they do things you will immediately be able to relate to.

More than anything Fairhaven is an honest look at what happens to people when they drift apart and reunite. It is full of “remember when” moments, and continues the trend by creating new memories among friends to remember even farther down the road. The film felt like a more mature and older version of Garden State with less focus on romance and more focus on friends. If you are a fan of independent films or have some friends you have not seen in a while you should definitely check out Fairhaven.

Review written by: Justin Proper

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