We open with postcard-style snapshots of a sleepy New England fishing town, still cloaked in morning mist. The denizens of Loblolly-by-the-Sea - look, this won't get anywhere if you just sneer... It wants acquaintanceship, a sense of intimacy, a feel for the gentle rhythms of the place. Close in on the gritted face of Helen MacFarquhar (Capshaw) on her morning run; out again on other local folk going about their rounds. Helen keeps the town bookshop, where congregate a close circle of friends and employees. Going through a pile of papers after work, Helen finds a love letter. Oh, her beating heart! But who could it be from? Suddenly phrases from the letter are on everyone's lips; a violin rhapsody swells. At this point an asteroid hits the sleepy town of Loblolly-by-the-Sea and wipes out all its inhabitants. And the voice of God (me) booms out, and says: 'Peter Ho-Sun Chan, give us a break. Who's going to swallow romantic lines about peeling potatoes? What kind of a name is Miss Scattergoods? Quit with this gentle real life stroll - you're not Ozu - and show us someone interesting.' Well! A drastic turn of events, but this really wasn't getting anywhere. And maybe the final act's a tad unfair - but that's life, too.
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