Elephant Sighs (DVD Review)9 Jun, 2012 By: Ashley Ratcliff
Stars Ed Asner, Jack Kehler, David Wells, Mark Fite.
A high-strung lawyer who relocates to a small town with his wife and kids is in the midst of starting a practice, and is awkwardly getting acclimated with his new scenery. Joel Bixby (John Cariani) happens upon a jolly old fellow, Leo (Edward Asner), who invites him to hang out with his group of friends.
Perry (David Wells), a former pastor, was ousted from his congregation due to his failing memory, and has picked up a new profession with life insurance sales. Nick (Mark Fite), an indignant contractor, is upset at Perry’s career change because he thinks that somehow his connection with God is ruined now that his friend is no longer involved in ministry. A stressed out Nick is also dealing with a divorce. Dink (Jack Kehler), on the other hand, is the more sensible, light-hearted friend, who often speaks of his undying love for his bald-headed wife.
These men meet regularly at a community center at the edge of town to relax and reminisce, but things haven’t been the same since their buddy, Walt, died unexpectedly. Joel is welcomed in as one of the guys, but he reluctantly takes on the unfamiliar role. Joel had a tormented childhood and, as a result, is not very outgoing or optimistic. He frequently questions the men’s motives for including him in their gathering, and the curious reason finally is offered at the end of Elephant Sighs.
The pacing of Elephant Sighs is slow but finds its groove as the men begin to reveal their inner-most thoughts and personal struggles. In doing so, the viewer develops a soft spot for these flawed but genuine individuals. Asner is commanding as the warmhearted glue binding these men together, while Wells stands out as he portrays the clergyman whose faith is fading.