Three Days of Rain (2002)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Ensemble Film, Urban Drama, Psychological Drama  |   Release Date - Sep 30, 2005 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 96 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Three Days of Rain is a wonderfully entertaining and thought-provoking film about modern urban life. Finding the basis for his multiple plotlines in the short stories of Anton Chekhov, writer/director Michael Meredith has fashioned a fascinating portrait of present-day Cleveland that is both sardonically funny and genuinely moving. Each character is a mess, in his or her own way, but Meredith sketches them with compassion and humor. In addition, Meredith has composed striking images of rain-swept Cleveland that allow his film to transcend being a talkfest. Peter Falk gives a phenomenal performance as Waldo, an elderly boozehound who can't stop mooching off his kindhearted son, Michael (Bill Stockton). What makes Waldo such a memorable and sometimes hilarious character is his painful self-awareness. When Michael insists on seeing the senior center where he lives, Waldo shamefacedly explains his reticence about introducing his son to his cohabitants: "I assume the part of an abused father sometimes." Joey Bilow, a mentally disabled actor, is very good as Denis, a railroad worker who's not quite the harmless innocent he seems. Erick Avari is very sympathetic in a complex role as a wealthy man struggling with his conscience. Don Meredith's cab driver character is unnecessarily opaque, and the plotline involving Tess (Merle Kennedy), the heroin addict who's lost custody of her daughter, is the closest the film comes to devolving into Todd Solondz-style misanthropy. But overall, Three Days of Rain is a lovely low-concept drama that exemplifies the best of American independent cinema.