Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Thirteen Conversations About One Thing


I never did quite get what one thing the thirteen conversations were about, and I’m not going to venture a guess. This is one of those movies where several stories are interconnected by the characters involved, though they may not even be aware of each other. That can work poorly or well, though I have to say most of them feature high-quality acting and writing. They are done as labors of love by the creative people. This is one of the good ones.

Matthew McC- is a hotshot DA who revels in sending bad guys to the slammer … until one night he hits a woman and then drives away, leaving her for dead. He becomes morose, won’t drive anymore, and begins physically self-destructive behavior, including a suicide attempt. The woman is not dead, but her positive view of life is temporarily disrupted. What’s the use? she figures.

Alan Arkin is a mid-level exec in an insurance company. His son is a worthless tweaker who never makes his court dates and soon ends up in jail. He is passed over for promotion, his job is in jeopardy … and he becomes obsessed with Mr. Sunshine, a guy in the office whose relentless happiness and optimism is driving him crazy. When it comes time to downsize someone, he picks Sunshine, with entirely too much glee. Later, he repents, and anonymously finds the man another job.

There is much more, but not a lot of point in running it all down. If you like slice-of-life vignettes that never really come to a standard resolution, you’ll like this one. We did.