Cast: Richard Lovejoy, Kent Meister, Jennifer Laine Williams
Writer: Richard Lovejoy
Director: Jonathan Scott Chinn
In all my years of dating I have never once had a girl die on me durring the relationship. Then again I have never been with anyone for a long time either. But in all fairness, they are still alive. Or so I think. I’m not sure how I would react if someone I was in love and spent all my time with was suddenly gone. Not like a breakup where that person could be contacted but you chose not to. But really gone. The characters in the drama “The Widowers” have to deal with these issues and come to terms with the loss of their loved ones. I should state right away that this film is not as depressing as it sounds. It reminded me a bit of “Sideways“. But, instead of having characters go to a wine tasting. They go to a counseling retreat for widowers.
On their way to this retreat are Jake(Richard Lovejoy) and Jonathan(Kent Meister). Two guys who lost their wives in a car accident. Jake is just destroyed to the point of not being able to communicate with anyone and is just quiet the whole time. Jonathan on the other hand tries his best to get his friend to open up, but it’s not working too well. The other participants of the site include Pam(Jennifer Laine Williams) Their grief camp counselor who appears to be much more enthusiastic then she actually is. Gustavus(Ryan Andes) a man hiding his pain behind several narcotics. Charles(Bill Prouty) is a man who does not want to attend this workshop. But is forced to in order for him to collect on his late wife’s inheritance. The other two are Teri(Jennifer Eolin.)The only woman allowed in the group because her wife passed away. Daniel(Lester Green). A shy accountant and Melinda(Nanda Abella). Pam’s assistant. Each day the group goes through a series of activities that will hopefully help heal their grief and get them to move on.
There is so much time concentrating on the relationship between Jake and Jonathan and their late wife’s that we don’t have anytime to learn about the other characters and their wives. I really would like to know why Charles is only interested in his wife’s estate or why he behaves like an A-hole most of the time. It also kind of upsets me of that the one cute assistant Melinda wants to dance with him near the end but I can get over that. Teri keeps seeing her late lover wherever she goes , but we never get to know who that person was or why she was so important before she died. Same thing goes for the other characters including Jonathan and Jake. I feel like Jonathan is bringing Jake because he wants to help get his old friend back. Rather then just help him heal. It’s later revealed what happened between them before their wives died. But after that secret is let out. I still had no deeper understanding of either character. Jake is a guy who wears the same pajamas every day and doesn’t talk. The only time he expressed any emotion is when he got high with Gus and after Jonathan tells him his secret. The character of Pam is interesting in that she has all this hostility that she pushes deep inside her. But I wanted to know more of why she has such issues. There is a moment when Pam invites all the widows from a camp that her husband helps run and hold a faux prom. It would have been great to get some insights into those characters and learn about their losses. Maybe by understanding the grief of those widows. Our widowers could better understand theirs.
I did like that a movie about people dealing with the deaths of their loved ones wasn’t as depressing as one would think. There are a lot of funny moments and I enjoyed watching the cast interact with each other. The characters they played were all very well written and even though I have issues with with some of the choices they made. (Pam I’m talking to you and what happened when you went into Jake’s room that one night). I was still intrigued by everyone in this. Even the ones who had less lines then Jake were fascinating to watch. Director Jonathan Scott Chinn and writer Richard Lovejoy have constructed people who at first could appear to be nothing more then just caricatures. But maybe that is just the mask they are wearing to hide their grief. I’m sure most of us at one time or another have put on a face for the public that wasn’t what we really felt at that time. Maybe when someone dies. We have to put on that same face but with a lot more makeup. The people inside this retreat are doing the same thing, and we see their foundation is starting to run off during their stay. But I wanted to see a complete makeup removal of everyone and I never got that.
“The Widowers” is available through most streaming venues. Visit the site below to get info on how you can check out this movie.