Extrovert, introvert, socialite, townie, social butterfly or hermit; we can all be called a people person. Not in the classic sense. Not in the social sense, but in a human sense. A great part of adulthood is figuring out who we are relative to ourselves and who other people are relative to us. Whether we compare ourselves to others or dive deep within, there is a constant observation and dialogue. Grace is that dialogue for a few characters that you can’t easily decide to love or wrinkle your nose at. Whether it’s love or uncertainty the characters in Grace take a part of you and you take a part of them and make them yours.
This story of two writers who are thrown together due to unfortunate circumstances is not a love story. It’s the most beautiful not love story you’ve ever seen. In fact there is one moment, where I found myself praying that the main characters not kiss.
I had the opportunity to catch up with actor Tate Donovan who plays the main character, Charlie Elliston, and chat about filming in the Boston area and playing this Red Sox loving old money New England character. Donovan began by singing the praises of our New England fall. Even though he has family in Vermont, Donovan had never experienced a New England fall before and he was in awe. The beauty of New England is definitely a highlight of the backdrop of the movie. It also helped Donovan channel the very traditional New England persona that the character Charlie Elliston has.
You know the acting is great when you’ve just stood side by side with Tate Donovan discussing filming in New England and when the movie begins you find yourself minutes later asking who that is on the screen as Tate Donovan’s character Charlie Elliston comes into the frame.
This movie is for the writer in your life, the Red Sox fan, the friend who feels unsure about where they are in life and the friend who is comfortable with the status quo.
The movie is filmed in Weston, Cambridge, and Jamaica Plain and the setting is beautiful. Writer, director and producer of Grace, Devin Adair, is a New England native. When we had a chance to chat, Adair was extremely appreciative of being able to film in Massachusetts not only because the movie is set in the Boston area. Being able to film in the true setting of a story makes a big difference. Thanks to the tax credit, every dime could be spent on letting the story itself come to life and not as Adair called it “cheating Boston”. Adair also mentioned how wonderful the local crew were to work with. During a Q & A after the film, we learned that New England weather played its tricks and foiled a pivotal pool scene. What I love about the dynamic between producers and actors in Grace is that the scene adapted in the final version is actually so much more powerful than it might have been. The dynamic of a cast and crew is palpable in moments like these because an obstacle creates a tighter more polished finished product instead of an obvious blemish or disconnect.
This début film by Ouroboros Entertainment films has me impatiently anticipating the next one. It is the type if film I appreciate most with artistry, a strong story line, but a focus on the characters. I can definitely appreciate a light movie with a cute story line where everything is spelled out, but I get totally sucked in and have a much more whole experience with a movie like this one. Grace’s cast includes Debby Ryan (my kids were super excited about this!), Katie Cassidy, Tate Donovan, Matthew Lillard, Mircea Monroe and Missi Pyle. I loved them all!