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Jon (writer-director Tom O’Brien) and Dave (Chris Messina) take stock of their lives in FAIRHAVEN

FAIRHAVEN (Tom O’Brien, 2012)
Cinema Village
22 East 12th St. between University Pl. & Fifth Ave.
Opens Friday, January 11

When Dave (Chris Messina) reluctantly returns to his hometown for his father’s funeral after being away for ten years, he meets up with his two childhood buddies, Jon (writer-director Tom O’Brien) and Sam (Rich Sommer), and the three rehash old times and create some crazy new ones in the appealing slice-of-life drama Fairhaven. Set in the real-life fishing village of Fairhaven (which just celebrated its 200th anniversary), the story focuses on how the three men have grown up — or haven’t yet — while examining what home means. Jon is a ne’er-do-well former high school football star obsessed with something three-time Super Bowl–winning quarterback Tom Brady said on 60 Minutes: “There’s got to be something more than this.” Looking for something more, Jon quits his job on a fishing boat to concentrate on his writing while also exploring a possible relationship with the New Age-y free spirit Angela (Alexie Gilmore). Responsible single father Sam has not dated since his divorce from Kate (American Horror Story’s Sarah Paulson), instead devoting himself to raising his daughter, Cara (Grace Collins), and his career as a real estate agent. And Dave has wandered around Vegas and Arizona for a decade after getting involved in a situation that shocks and angers Jon when Dave at long last reveals his big secret. Evoking such previous ensemble films about reuniting friends as Diner and Beautiful Girls, Fairhaven is a well-made, touching drama about searching for one’s place in the world while also coming to terms with the choices one has made. Stage veteran O’Brien, Messina (Damages, Newsroom), and Sommer (Mad Men) have worked together before in various ways, bringing a charming camaraderie to their characters’ friendship. In his directorial debut, O’Brien imbues the tale with a believable honesty that lets the viewer forgive his occasional wrong turns. The setting and soundtrack, featuring songs by Blow Up Hollywood and These United States, further enhance this moving drama about a group of thirtysomethings taking stock of their lives — and not necessarily liking what they see. Fairhaven opens at Cinema Village on January 11, with O’Brien on hand for Q&As following the 7:15 and 9:30 screenings on opening night and the 7:15 show on January 13.

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