Monday, September 10, 2012

Grand Junction not Denver?

What movie by Lawrence Kasdan (Body Heat, The Big Chill), starring Diane Keaton, Kevin Kline, Diane Wiest, Sam Shepherd and Richard Jenkins, opened this spring in a limited release that included Grand Junction, Colorado but not Denver?

Darling Companion.

You don’t know the film? Not a surprise, as I said, it played a very limited release and did not exactly get rave reviews – where it was even reviewed. And while the film is partially set in Denver, it didn’t play Denver but it did play Grand Junction.

I had occasion to see the film recently and while it is not a great film it is not bad. The story revolves around Beth (Diane Keaton) rescuing a dog from beside the freeway in Denver and despite her husband’s (Kevin Kline) objections ends up keeping the dog.

Fast forward to a wedding at their mountain cabin (a very nice ‘cabin’) and the dog disappears. The rest of the film deals with a search for the dog but the search, which involves all kinds of people, is the means for us to watch the interaction of the characters - relationships get resolved, love blooms, etc. Much like the death of a friend in The Big Chill allows for the interaction of all the characters that come together for the funeral.

The film is certainly not at the level of The Big Chill, but it is pleasant and made me laugh. The scenes with Richard Jenkins are particularly fun.

What I found most interesting is that not only did the film not play in Denver it was not shot in Denver or really anywhere in Colorado where it was ostensibly set. The opening scenes were supposed to be Denver and the mountain cabin and the search for the dog was in Telluride. But other than some establishing shots in Denver and Telluride, the movie was shot in Utah – primarily Park City.

I am hopeful that now that we have, what I believe is a competitive film incentive program that that will not occur again. This is exactly the type of project/budgeted film, that the incentive program is designed to attract.

And when the film shows up on cable, as it will, give it a try. You might like it. Oh, and enjoy that great Utah scenery.

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