Capturing a bit of Americana, a parcel of life foreign in nature to our own, has offered the opportunity to appreciate the diversity of living and of people in this country populated by ordinary yet extraordinary beings. Films that have focused on little family ventures ('Mystic Pizza'-type films) make us examine our own niche and grow to love variations on a single theme. DIGGERS, as written by Ken Marino (who also stars), is just such a story, a window on the life of clam diggers in the shores off Long Island. Yet as directed by Katherine Dieckmann and acted by a particularly fine cast, DIGGERS addresses the changes that occur in each of us as we progress from teenagers to adults - and all the potentially crippling and thrilling factors that can and do arise.
Four friends who dig for clams as their families have done for generations interact on levels of levity and anger, support and misunderstanding, and woven through the background of these four men's lives are the women (and children) who influence them. The apparently disparate men include wannabe photographer Hunt (Paul Rudd), procreator Lozo (Ken Marino), druggie philosopher Cons (Josh Hamilton), and womanizer Jack (Ron Eldard). Their lives intersect on many levels: the women in their lives - Hunt's needy divorced sister Gina (Maura Tierney) who after their father's death falls for Jack, Hunt's 'summer girlfriend' Zoey (Lauren Ambrose), and Lozo's constantly pregnant wife Julie (Sarah Paulson) - and the changes in the entire business of clamming rights as big business steps into the water. How these characters cope with the static that jars their day-to-day existence may seem small in importance to an outsider, but by the end of the film, we 'the outsiders' have grown to know and appreciate and love this little band of fellow beings.
The cast displays excellent ensemble acting and while the film has its rough edges, so does the little corner of the world described. It is a quiet little film, all the more beautiful for being so unpretentious. Grady Harp
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