THREE STARS Things changes for this odd couple when life unexpectedly pushes them together.
Steve Olsen, Katherine Cortez
Odd couples are a staple of Hollywood, a staple this gentle comedy-drama makes good use of in its heart felt runtime. Rodney (a compelling Steve Olsen) is a your typical sad-sack whose 30-something life is skidding along the bottom. Jobless, homeless, girlfriend-less then carless, he strikes up an unlikely friendship with an ailing widow June (the spritely Katherine Cortez). In her sober moments, she takes pity on him in exchange for odds jobs around the house and, although she would never admit it, his company. An unlikely relationship develops, one that lasts longer than either anticipated.
Writer/director Michael MacRae’s FISHBOWL CALIFORNIA is a familiar trip around the block and therein its strength. There’s something comforting about Rodney, his hopelessness and his hopeless Dad-jokes. Likewise June’s cranky behaviour masking a heart of, well, not gold exactly, but you get the picture. And what the film lacks in surprises, it makes up for with a breezy, good natured tone.
FISHBOWL CALIFORNIA is not going to change the way you see the world yet that’s not really its intention. Here’s a film content to entertain, warm the heart and remind us that everyone has a story that we should learn before passing judgement. It’s something this likeable odd couple learned to do, if a little late. Yet better that than never.