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Feed the Fish (DVD Review)

19 Dec, 2010 By: Ashley Ratcliff

Prebook 12/28/10; Street 1/25/11
Box Office $0.08 million
$24.99 DVD
Not rated.
Stars Tony Shalhoub, Ross Partridge, Katie Aselton, Barry Corbin, Michael Chernus.

It’s hard to think warm, fuzzy thoughts when watching scenes filmed in harsh, 20-degree weather, but Feed the Fish achieves just that with its sweet storyline and relatable characters.

Joe Peterson (Ross Partridge), a successful children’s book author with a fierce case of writer’s block, leaves the nagging girlfriend and lackluster Los Angeles atmosphere behind for a much-needed retreat to stir up the creative juices. He and his wacky friend, J.P. (Michael Chernus), who is intent on taking the Polar Bear Plunge, head to cold country in the dead of winter.

The tide turns for Joe when he quickly falls for Sif (Katie Aselton of “The League”), the charming waitress from the local diner in the quaint Northern Wisconsin town. Met with some resistance from Sheriff Andersen (Tony Shalhoub), her overbearing but well-intentioned father, Joe eventually wins him over, despite a few awkward encounters between the two. Along the way, a fast friendship emerges with Sif’s lovable grandpa, Axel (Barry Corbin).

Billed as “the feel-good comedy of the winter,” Feed the Fish brings to life the idiom that home is where the heart is. Joe finds a muse in Sif, a comrade in the sheriff and a mentor in Axel. Things are speeding along and Joe seems right at home — he even joins the church choir — so much so that you forget he’s on vacation when a predictable wrench is thrown into the blossoming romance.

While the plot is enticing, this comedy is sometimes light on the laughs, of which a wayward badger and a shooting lesson gone awry are among the most memorable and redeeming bits.

But if heartwarming elements are your cup of tea, the behind-the-scenes featurette, which peels off the characters’ emotional layers and reveals director Mike Matzdorff’s approach to the film, will hit the spot.

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