Friday, April 30, 2010

Movie Review: Ten Inch Hero

Contrary to what the title of this film may suggest, Ten Inch Hero is not a porno. It is in fact one of the best movies you've never heard of.

    "Sex, love and laughs are part of the everyday life in this hip little sub shop in Santa Cruz.  For the group of friends who work there, it's an oasis on the complex journey through relationships, a place where they have each other to lean on as they find their way... 
    The sign out front says it all: 'Help Wanted: normal people need not apply.'"
It's not a secret that I have a pretty intense girl crush on Elisabeth Harnois, who although beautiful and talented is a pretty inconvenient actress on whom to have said girl crush as she suffers from Melissa Joan Hart syndrome (pushing 30 and playing mostly high-school students) and isn't as famous as most targets of girl crushes. (Although you can now find her in the new CBS series Miami Medical on Friday nights at 10.... along with Mike Vogel *drool*)

Anyway, the point of that confession: Because one of my favorite actresses is one who isn't terribly well-known, I was excited to see Ten Inch Hero when I first heard about it in 2007 - from a movieweb article, I believe. Unfortunately, because it was such an indie movie, it was shown exclusively at several film festivals, and never had a theatrical release. It wasn't until February 2009 that it made it to DVD, but the release was exclusive to Blockbuster Video, so I had completely missed that memo.

Finally a couple of weeks ago, to my great surprise and excitement, The Emmy had a copy! Needless to say, I borrowed it happily.

Set in a sandwich shop in Santa Cruz, the movie is a bit of a 'slice of life' romantic comedy about a group of people all dealing with the same issue of dishonesty, although manifested in many different ways. There's the owner of the shop, Trucker (played by rock legend John Doe) who's a hippie-surfer-all-around-awesome guy, who is hiding a painful past. There's Piper (Elisabeth Harnois), a talented and successful artist that comes to Santa Cruz in search of the daughter that she gave up for adoption. Jen, (Clea DuVall) is a painfully shy and insecure, but wonderful girl who has an internet romance with a stranger that she's terrified to meet. Tish (Daneel Harris) is a knock-out and she knows it. Lastly, there's Preistly, (played by Jensen Ackles) the mohawked punk-rocker funny guy, uncomfortable in his own skin.

Oh and of course, there's the hot dad Connor MacManus Noah, (Sean Patrick Flannery,) father of Julia, the little girl that Piper has come to town looking for. (I seriously spent about half an hour trying to get used to him speaking with an American accent instead of an Irish one. (Yes I am aware he is in fact American, I'd just never seen him in anything besides Boondockk Saints before, so give me a break.)

 Although there are a few spots in the film that are a little slow and a bit dry, on the whole Ten Inch Hero is a fantastic movie  filled with hilarious and heart warming moments, as well as some real insights disguised as wit and snark. The characters are real and connected, and their relationships are what make this movie so enjoyable. The plot is great, but the plot is entirely dependent on the character relationships. Some things in the movie end exactly as you hope they will, and other parts end in unexpected but wholly satisfying ways. 

I strongly recommend you check out this movie. Fans of the actors will not be disappointed with the character portrayals; fans of Jensen Ackles especially will love his character Preistly, who is entirely endearing and memorable. 

On that note, I leave you with one of Preistly's best scenes:

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