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The Enormity of Life

Written by: Eric Swinderman |   Directed by: Eric Swinderman |  Genre: Drama

 This film starts with what appears to be a sinister woman nurse attempting to kill a patient or a crazy woman dressed as a nurse. Straight out of a horror movie, she whisks into the patient’s room, and if she weren’t interrupted, it would have been a grim situation for sure. Just as the nurse is apprehended by hospital staff, a man’s voice fills the screen, and I quickly learned the man was reading from a suicide note he was writing. As the film changes focus, I met Casey (Breckin Meyer), who seems to be your average man. Until I quickly find out he is suicidal. The Enormity of Life began, and by the time the credits rolled, I was speechless.

 Casey had failed to kill himself because of a technical malfunction, and during that time, he’d received a phone call from a lawyer’s office. It appears that Casey had been left a rather generous inheritance from an aunt he barely knew. Could life be looking up? During his moment of shock and awe, Casey meets Jess (Emily Kinney), who happens to be working at the cafe. She reminds Casey that she actually lives in his building and that he’s even helped her fix things in the past. In the process of their conversation, he gets Jess fired, and that’s when this film turns into a romance of sorts.

 Jess introduces Casey to her daughter Jules (Giselle Eisenberg), who has issues of her own. This smart, young girl is obsessed with murderers and shootings. So much so that she has nightmares about them, among other things. It’s when Casey finds out his mother, who is mentally ill, goes missing from her home; the trio takes a road trip to figure out what happened. I don’t want to spoil the entire film, but along the way, there’s a stop to Casey’s childhood home, a hospital, and even to the home of a shooting spree survivor. I would best describe The Enormity of Life as the bastard of the road trip film and even the rom-com. But the twist ending, although probably insanely realistic, was incredibly shocking. Or maybe it wasn’t. The hints were there all along.

 Eric Swinderman has managed to direct some really talented people into a really great film. Yes, this is a drama, but it’s got a touch of so many other genres that it’s really hard to say with confidence that it’s “just” a drama. There are even plenty of jokes to go around, but The Enormity of Life never fully loses its blacker drama. It’s always present and always making you feel a little apprehensive. Even that ending, which many will probably hate, was hinted about the whole time. And about that ending? I’m not saying people will hate it because it’s done badly; it’s more like they’ll hate it because it’s a complete punch to the guts. But I think maybe that’s one of the things that makes this film so good. The Enormity of Life is an excellent example of art imitating life.

 It’s always awesome to see some familiar faces in a relatively micro-budget movie, so if that’s what it takes, then come to see them. Just be warned that the “good” doesn’t stop there. Eric Swinderman and his talented cast and crew have some surprises in store for you. This film zips by, and I couldn’t stop watching. Four and a half stars from me, and thank you for reading.

THE ENORMITY OF LIFE TRAILER from Anhedonia Pictures on Vimeo.

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