Film Fest review: Big News from Grand Rock

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In this straight-faced comedy about a small-town newspaper, truth isn’t stranger than fiction, because it is fiction!

This movie stars Leonard Crane (Ennis Es­mer), a small-town newspaper editor working for the town of Grand Rock. He finds his news­paper business is not as hot as it used to be years ago, and the owner Stan (Gordon Pinsent), is on the verge of trying to sell it. Leonard is passionate about his work and will do anything to save it, which leads him into trouble.

Leonard devises a plan to steal real-life movie plots and feature them as non-fiction stories on the cover of each week’s paper, and hoodwink the rest of the town. Eventually a big-city news organization becomes attracted to one of these (fake) stories Leonard produces and sends one of their own reporters, Lucy, (Meredith Mac­Neill) to work side-by-side with Leonard to help him investigate the “so-called” scandal. Lucy soon learns about the hoax through Leonard’s unconvincing and silly cover-ups, and is publically called out on it.

However, through a series of events, she be­comes convinced that “his” most fabricated sto­ry may not be as false as everybody else believes. The duo work together and discover that there is something to this story after all. As the two begin working together, their chemistry grows and romance ensues. God forbid a movie doesn’t involve a female supporting character falling in love with the main character!

One problem with this movie’s plot is that even in such a small town, you would think that at least one civilian would have spotted such an iconic movie plot that has been played off as a news story. Movies like Caddyshack and Cutting Edge are not exactly unfamiliar movies.

Writer and director Daniel Perlmutter keeps the flow nice and smooth, balancing a steady stream of small laughs with a story that engages the viewer. The acting skills by all the performers are impeccable, which assists with the comedy. The script can be goofy at times, but as outra­geous as things get, the ending brings things back down to reality while still providing the audience with chuckles. It is a good, clean belly-grabber that is acceptable to bring the whole family to, aside from a few sexual innuendos.

This movie receives 8.5 Nathan Stars, which closely resembles 8.5 regular stars out of 10.