Right before I started watching the new indie release, International Falls, I had noted to myself that I wanted to watch a documentary called Misery Loves Comedy. I don’t know much about that documentary, which features interviews with dozens of comics, but it appears to speak to the connection between comedy and depression. What director Amber McGinnis and screenwriter Thomas Ward’s film International Falls does, is authentically capture the many ways that stand-up comedy, and comedy in film, is drawn from the struggles of real life.

International Falls is named for the frigid Minnesota town in which tragically awful comic Tim (Rob Huebel) finds himself, checking into the local motel, where wanna-be comedian Dee (Rachael Harris) is a desk clerk. When she comes to his performance and approaches him afterwards, she instigates an awkward relationship that builds through sharing their individual miseries, and their willingness to open up to each other. Harris and Huebel are wonderful together, and it’s a joy to see both actors, often relegated to co-starring status, show their acting chops, and carry a film as leads.

There are times in all of our lives, at least for those of us who are lucky, when we have interactions with strangers that prove to be incredibly deep and life-changing.

For the rest of the review, go to AWFJ.org