Loosely inspired by the short stories of Anton Chekhov, Michael Meredith's meandering medley of tales is set in modern-day Cleveland, as a violent storm soaks the city to its core. The film flits back and forth across several narratives populated by paralyzed protagonists and B-list cameos. Peter Falk is a drunk who sweet-talks his son into giving him money; veteran character actor Erick Avari beautifully inhabits a wealthy man who starts to realize his life may not be as satisfying as it seems; and NFL legend Don Meredith—the director's real-life father—plays a lonely cab driver whose son recently died (his passengers include Blythe Danner, Jason Patric and Max Perlich). All the while, Lyle Lovett provides ironic commentary via the airwaves as a smooth-talking DJ. There are myriad other characters in crisis, but you get the drift.
Three Days of Rain is often pretentious, but it also has moments of profundity. It's a real actors' movie, which isn't surprising, since it's helmed by a fellow thespian. Unfortunately, Meredith also encourages many of the cast members to overemote, which undermines his movie's subdued atmosphere (this problem also plagues many stage productions of Chekhov). In contrast, Avari's journey is so affecting because his performance is understated. His inertia is palpable and his epiphany that his life is flawed is heartrending, but he doesn't need to scream and shake his fists at the cloudy sky to get his points across.—Raven Snook