Fairhaven

In writer-director Tom O’Brien’s halfway decent directorial debut, semi-lost soul Dave (Chris Messina)—he of the weight-of-the-world slouch and perpetual five o’clock shadow—glumly returns to his Massachusetts hometown after the death of his father. After reconnecting with his old buddies, Jon (O’Brien) and Sam (Rich Sommer), the beer-and-drug-addled laments about paths not taken begin. What’s surprising is how often the film cuts against the expected beats of the “straight-guy problems” genre; even a sequence with a should-be-ridiculous premature-ejaculation punch line is given some surprisingly tender shades. Though its insights are slight—the movie feels as delicate and ephemeral as its sleepy winter surroundings—you can’t help but admire the overall generousness O’Brien shows to his characters and performers.

Follow Keith Uhlich on Twitter: @keithuhlich

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