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'Harry and Avis' Review

September 7, 2016, 12:00 am

Billed as an indie rom-com, this simple story leaves a lot to the imagination. Although the title suggests otherwise, and despite how Avis takes up her share of the screen, it’s more of a story about Harry. Ever the thinker (often the over-thinker), Harry is a restless and fearful character from writer and director Nathan Hollis (who also plays the titular character). We’re always suspicious when the lead actor’s name appears so many times in the credits, and the naval-gazing aspect of this movie bears that out. How much of Harry is really Hollis isn’t decipherable, yet we’re willing to bet it’s quite a bit. He’s a classic American millennial, wearing peg-legged denim with an upturned cuff, also sporting a beard and carrying a chip on his shoulder because he’s yet to do something with himself. Avis (Margot Mount) isn’t quite a three-dimensional woman, and it’s not just because she wears lacy white pajamas on a camping trip. Mount certainly conveys that she’s an odd fit for Harry, and so the romance part of their relationship feels appropriately strained. It’s also what makes for some of the entertaining banter between the two. Do they really even like each other or get each other at all? What would they do if they had to solve a real problem together? Don’t take any outdoor survival tips from these two—or relationship strategies, for that matter. The three-night stay on a windy hillside looking over Loch Lomond and the rolling Scottish hills behind it forms the backbone of the low-budget effort named an audience favorite at the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival in 2015. It premiered in the UK in 2014 and is returning here for a run at CCA and a fundraiser for the upcoming SFIFF (7 pm Friday, Sept. 9), which is set to bring a new wave of independent titles and events this Oct. 12-23.



Harry and Avis
CCA,
77 min.,
NR


 

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