Director: Bruce McCulloch
Kids in the Hall cast member Bruce McCulloch wrote and directed this offbeat, funny indie film, which debuted at Tribecca before ending up at other international fests including being selected as an official selection at the 2006 Scottsdale International Film Festival. Taking a break from the GoodFellas styled roles that made him famous, Ray Liotta shows his versatile comedic range (also on display in the lovely Corrina, Corrina and hilarious Heartbreakers) as businessman and suburban father Walter Pearce in Comeback Season. After an impulsive, regrettable affair with his young, beautiful assistant, a guilt and panic ridden Pearce confesses his indiscretion to his wife of twenty-four years (Glenne Headly) on their anniversary, just after his older daughter becomes engaged, thereby being forced out of his house in the middle of the night. Meanwhile, the arrogant star quarterback of the local high school football team, Pearce’s next door neighbor Skylar Eckerman (Shaun Sipos), blows out his knee just before a big game and soon, the two unlikely neighbors find themselves both with their dreams dashed. The men form an odd couple alliance as Pearce stays with Eckerman while his parents are on vacation and together they eat burritos, listen to way too many Dave Matthews Band songs, shop at Sears (the only credit card Pearce has left after his vengeful wife and daughters seek financial justice) and ultimately both challenge and inspire one another to get things back on track in their lives. The film is sweet, comical, yet surprisingly relatable however drastic the events seem as Pearce tries everything in his power to make his wife forgive him and move back home, yet the conclusion, while of course predictable, does not come all that easily and McCulloch’s jokes are subtle and brave and his adept and innate understanding of each of the main characters helps make this relatively short film (roughly 90 minutes) much more credible as we begin to sympathize and understand each point of view. Ultimately, Comeback Season is a nice little gem, fresh off the film festival circuit and available for rental.