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Film Reviews by Lisa Blanck
Sometimes I Think About Dying
| Friday, 02.02.2024, 10:28 PM |   (1510 views)

The Oregon coast, a haven for solitude and solitary people, is where Director Rachel Lambert sets her newest indie film, Sometimes I Think About Dying.  If the somber title doesn't disturb you, but rather, intrigues you, you may be just the audience for a film filled with wistful loners, who aren't really searching for anything more than what they already have.

It's a film filled with awkward encounters, people who may laugh too loudly at inappropriate times, people who say the absolute wrong thing, not to be hurtful, but because they are socially inept.  She's not shy, she just prefers to keep herself to herself.

People who are simply average, living average lives, having uncomfortable conversations.  People like Fran (Daisy Ridley), a potentially suicidal woman working in a small office, who loves her job creating spreadsheets.  After all, numbers can't lie.  Numbers are predictiable.  Numbers have no feelings.  

Fran's clothing is monochromatic.  Her desk space is monochromatic.  Her home is monochromatic. She's so bland her favorite food is ... cottage cheese.  

You get the idea.  Fran's life has been colorless for many years.  In fact, she grew up in the "quiet" part of the town, so the sometimes boisterous conversations in her small office can be overwhelming.  She's not stupid.  In fact, she's very witty, but sometimes her comments go over the heads of her co-workers.  And she's left, like most of us in that situation, regretting her words.  Fran has spent most of her life living inside her own head, so social interactions are a distraction she tries to avoid.

At office gatherings, she stands off to the side, quietly walks in to take a piece of cake, and quickly leaves the room, walking back to her desk.  And yes, dreams about dying.  Thinks about it while she's awake.  Dreams about it while she's asleep.  She's a victim of a possible shipwreck, a snakebite, or just a body decaying in the silent woods.  In fact, these dreams/hallucinations are more colorful than her daily existence.

Every day she comes home from work, pours a glass of wine without taking off her coat or putting down her purse.  She sits on her couch and plays Soduku, always in bed by a 'reasonable' hour.  She make her bed every morning.  She has never had a relationship, doesn't know what love feels like. 

And then a new employee, Robert (Dave Merheje) appears in the office, taking the spot of a recently retired co-worker.  Robert is very much an extrovert, joking with everyone from day one.  Robert makes friends easily.  Robert starts flirting with Fran, who simply doesn't know how to respond.  He flirts in person, he flirts by email, he flirts by text message.  Anything to get her attention.  He confesses things to Fran, which brings them closer.  Eventually he asks her out on a date.

In one scene, Fran and Robert attend a murder mystery party on a houseboat.  Fran is dubbed the 'murder victim' in one scenario, and visibly impresses the other guests by the gruesome description of her own 'death'.  Though out of her comfort zone, her wit is fully on display, taking Robert by surprise.

Overall, it's a very subtly nuanced performance by Ridley.    

However, the socially inept Fran doesn't know how to handle the romatic attention from this twice-divorced man.  He's not pushy, he's very kind.  He's also, admittedly, inept when it comes to relationships.  Now, you may be thinking, maybe they're really deep thinkers, with huge emotional storehouses just waiting to be released.  Or maybe they're just built more simply - what you see is what you get.  

You'll have to check out Sometimes I Think About Dying to find the answers. 

Lisa Blanck is the Associate Editor / Movie Reviewer for In and is a member of the Critics Association of Central Florida.  Her background includes 30+ years of digital editing for NBC and CBS News affiliates.  She also edits national promotional spots for Matter Of Fact, the #1 nationally syndicated news & information program.  For 30+ years she has covered the Florida Film Festival & the World Peace Film Festival, and has additional award-winning experience in advertising, marketing, promotions and live special events with MTV Networks.  

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