(I originally posted this review of I’m Reed Fish at Gilmore-ism.com.)
Alexis Bledel’s latest film I’m Reed Fish, also starring Jay Baruchel as the title character Reed Fish, actually came out on DVD on September 4. Netflix even sent me a copy, which I enjoyed immensely. But Amazon still has the I’m Reed Fish DVD scheduled for release this coming week, on Tuesday. Whatever.
In any case, if you haven’t seen this yet, I think it’s well worth watching. (As if you cared about my opinion.) You may have to watch it twice to catch all the nuances. But if you keep in mind that it’s not a romance story, you’ll probably enjoy it more the first time.
I’m Reed Fish is about a radio personality, Reed Fish, in the back-woods hamlet of Mud Meadows. Now, Mud Meadows has been compared to Stars Hollow. But Stars Hollow is much too urban to make the comparison work. Mud Meadows is more reminiscent of Cicely, Alaska. But Reed is no Chris Stevens. No, Reed Fish is going through an acute crisis of self-identity. He’s always done what everyone else expected him to, has always been who everyone else expected him to be. This film is about whether he’ll be able to break that mold and be the person he actually is.
As I said, I really enjoyed the film. And if you haven’t seen it yet, get a copy, or rent it from Netflix.com. In fact, you can watch the movie on-line using Netflix’s “Watch Instantly” feature, which is included with your Netflix membership.
Therefore, to commemorate the I’m Reed Fish DVD release, on whatever date you celebrate it, here’s the official Gilmore-ism.com top-10 list of best things about I’m Reed Fish:
10. Quirkiest Character: D.J. Qualls as Andrew. He thinks he’s Chuck Norris. He says, “I love you,” when he gets drunk. You smile at him, because that’s what you do to crazy people to calm them down. He would fit right in in Stars Hollow. If Kirk got married, it would probably be a lot like Andrew’s wedding.
9. Most Overused Line: “Quit zorsing around and get back to work!” Hey, it was actually funny when Jill first said it!
8. Most Hitchcockian Moment: Reed Fish’s cameo as “John Penner.” (Alfred Hitchcock always made a cameo appearance in each of his films.)
7. Coolest Voice You Almost Recognize: Katey Sagal, as Maureen, Mayor of Mud Meadows. (I hope that’s enough M‘s.) If you close your eyes, you might recognize her as Leela, from Futurama. Yes, in Reed Fish, she has both eyes.
6. Most Obscure Actor from a Famous TV Series: Blake Clark, as Irv Peterson, Kate’s father. He also played Harry, the owner of the hardware store, in Home Improvement, which you can still catch in reruns on multiple channels. Of course, he was 10 years younger then, but you can still recognize him.
5. Coolest Scene: Schuyler Fisk (as Jill Cavanaugh) singing “From Where I’m Standing.” Here’s the video clip. And no, Reed shouldn’t be kissing her, because he’s engaged to Kate.
4. Biggest Goof that Actually Made it Into the Film: Two goofs tied for this one. First of all, in the above clip, look at Schuyler’s left hand when sings the bridge. “Let it fall. Let it come down…” On the words “come down,” she forgets what the next chord is she’s supposed to play. I guess they didn’t use that take for the audio!
Then in the scene following, when Reed goes to talk to Kate, look at Alexis’s hair. Her bangs suddenly change. Then they just as suddenly change back again.
3. Coolest Surprise Character: Shiri Appleby as the real Jill Cavanaugh. This is not a spoiler. But I’m still not going to tell you what that’s all about. You’ll have to watch the film.
2. Most Sympathetic Kate Moment: When she took Reed back. That’s when you felt the worst for her. In fact, it’s the only time I truly felt bad for her. Silly girl. She forgot that this is not a romance story. It’s about Reed finding himself. And he hadn’t found himself yet.
Well, you knew I had to work Alexis Bledel into the list somewhere. Seriously, though, she did a wonderful job as Kate. This was a very unsympathetic character–not a villain, but also not someone you root for. That means Kate was for the most part very 2-dimensional. But Alexis made her memorable.
1. Most Romantic Moment: Reed and Jill on Miss Sandstrom’s roof, looking at stars, making up constellations, sharing secrets.
So that’s my top-10 list for the movie I’m Reed Fish. As I said, definitely worth seeing, at least once. And maybe 4 times, as I did.
P.S. Here’s the I’m Reed Fish trailer: