What Moonlight Mile’s trailer promised was a film
coursing with palpable pain as grief-stricken parents and
fiancé cope with a young woman’s untimely death. Adorning
the film are three powerful and dramatically experienced actors.
Moonlight Mile, on the other hand, turned out to be
a vehicle for a cheap romance and an easy resolution for all
characters. And that was the only sad part.
Thrusting you into the story, the film begins with Diana’s
funeral (she was killed randomly in a diner) and hardly gives
the audience a chance to feel anything for the fallen character.
When Joe (Gyllenhaal), the dutiful fiancé goes to the
post office, he meets Bertie Knox (Pompeo), a postal
worker who helps reclaim his wedding invitations. There begins
a maple syrup romance that is painfully sweet and unrealistic.
As she helps him forget his dead ex, he helps fill the void
of her missing-in-action boyfriend lost in the wilds of Vietnam.
The romance is oh too convenient and plays out cliché after
The only real brilliant moments are those when the characters
expose the rawness of their emotions, unburdening their grief.
While Joe climbs in through the window after a midnight rendezvous
with Bertie, Jo Jo (Sarandon) sits on his bed reviving
her long-time affair with the bottle and crying over her maelstrom
of emotions. There the film resembles its trailer in a too-brief
glimpse of real feeling.
Instead of just addressing the torrid and tumultuous emotions
involved with a grisly death, Moonlight Mile was mired
in plot designs to keep Joe Moviegoer interested—because feelings
are boring and romance is much more interesting. If you want
to see what this film could have been simply watch the trailer
or check out In The Bedroom on video. There’s a film
with a similar premise, executed with much more heart.