THE MISSING GIRL tells the story of Mort, the lonely and disillusioned owner of a comic book shop, and Ellen, the emotionally disruptive, aspiring graphic novelist he's hired. The story ... See full summary »
"The Missing Girl" has small independent film written all over it. It has a very modest budget, stars mostly folks you probably won't recognize and is anything but the typical formulaic Hollywood picture. Now I am not saying it's a must-see film, but I sure love projects like this one.
Mort (Robert Longstreet) is a middle-aged guy who owns a toy and comic book store, has very little money and is single. By most standards, he's a likable loser...but I must emphasize that he's likable. The problem is that Mort is acutely aware of his life and prospects. So, when he finds himself attracted to his new and much younger assistant, Ellen (Alexia Rasmussen), he says nothing...and longs for her from afar. However, after a strange series of events during which Ellen disappears, Mort is convinced something awful happened to Ellen and he's bound and determined to find her. Much of this is because Ellen reminds him of a girl who was murdered in the town many years before...and he's worried that the same fate might have awaited Ellen.
The story is very simple and the film has very few exciting Hollywood-style moments. Instead, it's full of many nice moments...nice and normal moments involving people who you like. Due to the nice direction by A.D. Calvo and the wonderful acting by everyone (particular Longstreet), I didn't mind that the film lacked explosions, fancy location shoots (this was filmed in a normal Connecticut town) and the like. Plus, it did offer several surprises and deliberately avoided taking the easy or formulaic way. In many ways, this is like a modern re-imagining of "Marty"...a brilliant film which took four Oscars back in 1956. It, too, is about a normal and likable loser who secretly longs for someone to love. So is "The Missing Girl" Oscar material? Nah...but it has heart and made me smile...and sometimes that's more than enough.