"Needs More Redemption, More Inspiration and No Obscene Content"
What You Need To Know:
INTERNATIONAL FALLS is compelling and sometimes funny, with solid performances and a nice piano score that beautifully matches the onscreen action. However, some dialogue hurts the movie’s quality. There are some moral elements about wanting the best for one’s friends and children, and a pro-life line at the end. Also, the two lead characters discuss faith in God, but they commit adultery, and the female lead has a Romantic attitude. She’s super focused on her personal desires to follow her dreams to start a new career as a comic. INTERNATIONAL FALLS also has lots of strong foul language, sexual content and other immoral behavior. INTERNATIONAL FALLS is excessive and ultimately unacceptable.
A serious comedy, INTERNATIONAL FALLS follows Dee, a middle-aged wife and mother of two in International Falls, Minnesota, who works at a hotel and has aspirations of becoming a stand-up comedian. When comedian Tim Fletcher comes to perform in town, Dee and Tim strike up a friendship that leads them to an intimate professional, emotional and physical connection. INTERNATIONAL FALLS has a mixed worldview with one poignant conversation about the Christian faith and some Romantic elements where the lead character wants to pursue her personal dreams. Due to lots of strong foul language, overt lewd behavior and references, and other immoral behavior, MOVIEGUIDE® finds INTERNATIONAL FALLS excessive and ultimately unacceptable.
The movie begins with Dee working at the local hotel in her small hometown of International Falls, Minnesota. Dee and her coworker, Ruthie, are in the middle of a conversation when Tim Fletcher, a stand-up comedian, checks into the hotel in anticipation of his show that will take place at the hotel. Dee finds something about Tim intriguing considering she herself has aspirations of becoming a stand-up comedian.
Acting on her curiosity, Dee sees Tim’s routine at the hotel’s bar/restaurant. Afterwards, Dee pretends to be drunk and goes into Tim’s hotel room where she proceeds to perform a sexual favor for him. Dee leaves and almost gets out of her car after a long day at work, but instead from her driveway, calls her husband and makes up an excuse to head back to the hotel. Tim lets Dee back into his room and offers her a drink and a Xanax that he took from his own wife. After Tim’s wife calls him on the phone to tell him about their son, Tim asks Dee to literally stomp on his cell phone and then Dee does the same thing to hers. The pair sleep in the same bed that night but aren’t physically intimate.
The next morning, Dee takes Tim to the post office and shows him the sights that International Falls has to offer, which Tim considers dismal. Since their adventures take place in the thick of winter, Dee takes him on a frozen lake, and they end up kissing alongside the shore when all of a sudden, her husband, Gary, drives up on a Snowmobile. Dee lies and says the hotel asked her to chaperone Tim the whole day, since he’s a “VIP” guest. Gary reluctantly drives away.
As Dee and Tim get to know one another better, the viewer learns they’re both unhappy in their marriages (ya think?). Also, Gary is cheating on Dee, and Tim and his wife are separated. So, the emotional and physical intimacy between Dee and Tim starts to bud even stronger.
Events come to a head near the halfway point when Tim delivers a sad comedy routine that evening that only reinforces the fact that he’s really no good at his job. The scene also reveals the brokenness between him and his estranged wife. Tim asks Dee if she wants to come in his room for a “retirement party,” and she obliges. While kissing, Tim asks if she’s sure she wants to go through with intercourse, and the two joke that they’re using each other.
The morning after, Dee shares with Tim that her mother died last year. Dee is a practicing Lutheran apparently, and Gary is on the board at the local church. Dee says the idea of Heaven brought her comfort with her mother’s passing, and Tim seems genuinely interested, since the conversation started as he read a passage from the hotel’s Bible in the side dresser. Suddenly, the phone rings. It’s Gary, and he’s in the lobby with their two daughters.
Tim, in a moment of chivalry and care for Dee, tells Gary over the phone that he needs to leave the hotel and stop hiding behind his daughters. Tim rightly says that affairs don’t just happened and stresses the need to make a choice and not try to “have your cake and eat it too.” Dee and Tim have one last conversation where he encourages her in her dreams to become a comedian and even gives her his personal comedy journal where he stores his ideas for stand-up routines.
Dee’s relationship with Tim leads her to make an important decision about her family, but a tragedy also leads her to make a decision about her future career. The movie ends with a last line of dialogue, which insists that, no matter how crumby or hopeless a person’s life is, they should “try” to work through life’s challenges to forge a positive future.
INTERNATIONAL FALLS has a solid cast who act on the script to the letter. The movie’s piano score beautifully pairs with the onscreen action. Perhaps the most compelling scene in the movie is when Tim and Dee discuss faith in God and the value of deep, meaningful conversations. That said, it’s clear that INTERNATIONAL FALLS is for a niche audience. Some lines of dialogue are completely unnecessary and bring the movie’s quality down overall.
INTERNATIONAL FALLS has a mixed worldview. Although the two lead characters discuss their faith in God, or lack thereof, they’re cheating on their spouses. INTERNATIONAL FALLS does have some morality when it comes to caring for the best thing for one’s friends and children. However, the movie also draws on a Romantic worldview where a character desires to follow her personal dreams to start a new career as a comedian. The movie also has a regrettably high amount of strong foul language, dialogue about sex, pornography, infidelity, and other immoral behavior. INTERNATIONAL FALLS ends with a pro-life line about pressing on in life despite challenges, but MOVIEGUIDE ® finds INTERNATIONAL FALLS excessive and ultimately unacceptable.