Film Reviews


By • Sep 14th, 2008 •

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Part memoir, part fairytale, GREETINGS FROM THE SHORE, is a sweetly poignant coming of age story about a young girl who spends one last summer at the Jersey Shore before heading off to college. Based on the true-life experiences of writer/producer Gabrielle Berberich (who also produced the recent Film Fest notable – HOUNDDOG), Jenny Chambers (played by Kim Shaw), not yet recovered from the death of her father, secures a job at a seaside resort where she stumbles into a surprising world of Russian Sailors (whom she is hired to tutor in English, unsuccessfully…), illegal high-stakes gambling (lorded over by the father of a former playmate from her youth), and an incurable dose of unexpected love.

Intended as an homage to films like DIRTY DANCING, and MYSTIC PIZZA, GREETINGS FROM THE SHORE reminds this reviewer more of THE FLAMINGO KID with its retro salty atmosphere of, beach-clubbiness, adolescent angst, and post-pubescent adventure. An ensemble cast starring Paul Sorvino as a long-suffering and conflicted surrogate father figure, David Fumero, and Jay O. Sanders brings these vivid small-town characters to life. Jay O. Sanders as the archly bombastic and intimidating Commodore Callaghan and Andrew Shaifer as the hilariously sniffy club manager Flip Dooley give scene-stealing minor performances. The most grounded, at-first-scary-then-warmly-accessible performance, is essayed by Norwegian actor Lars Arentz-Hansen, who has done quite a bit of film work around the world, including THE QUARRY, a previous film by Producer/Director team Chwerchak and Berberich, but still needs to stumble across that break-out role. I’ll be watching for him.

GREETINGS FROM THE SHORE does succeed modestly and gently, in the writer’s words, “as a love letter in the sand, a tribute to the Jersey Shore, and a postcard from summers past.”

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