An official selection of this year’s SXSW festival, this sweet and quirky romantic comedy from writer/director Steve Mims has a rare quality too many Hollywood comedies lack: a story arc without a formula, and an ending that’s as deeply satisfying as it is a fun surprise. Arlo and Julie are a content young couple adrift in Austin. If the actors seem like naturals for their parts, it’s because Mims wrote the script with them in mind. Sleepy-eyed Alex makes for a convincingly bored computer programmer and aspiring historian, while pixie-esque Ashley is perfect as Arlo’s spunky girlfriend, a waitress biding her time, with lessening patience, for him to finally get a life. One day, Julie receives a package in the mail, from an unknown address in Mexico, containing two pieces from the same jigsaw puzzle. Then another package comes from the same address, containing four more pieces. As the packages keep coming, at first they gladly distract themselves from their frustrations by putting the pieces together. But the mystery only deepens. Soon their quest becomes an obsession that threatens to upend their lives. The result is an uplifting, surprisingly moving exploration of art and history, love, trust and faith.
Northern California Premiere