Moonlight Mile

dir. Silberling

Opens Fri Oct 4

Various Theaters

All right, what am I going to say about this movie? Sappy, kinda pointless, stars one of those Rene Zell-whatever look-alike chicks that does zany things like kiss old men on the cheek. Jake Gyllenhaal (aka Donnie Darko) is in it and does a pretty good job, despite the molasses script. He's pretty cute, too, especially when his eyes are welling up with tears. Oh, poor Jakey.

Jake is living with his fiancée Diana's parents, played by Susan Sarandon and Dustin Hoffman. He gets along with them well; trouble is, his fiancée is dead. He stays in her room, surrounded by her clothes and teddy bears, and has eerie dreams about her at night. Despite his discomfort and the fact that he's too old to be living with his parents, he feels obligated to her family, going so far as to enter a commercial real estate business with Diana's dad.

Uh oh, though. Five minutes after Diana's corpse cools off, Jake runs into Bertie McCuterson at the post office while trying to reclaim his now-expired wedding invitations. He shouldn't really be dating so soon, but he's lonely, she's cute, the cosmic force of destiny is at work, and that's the plot. Human interactions ensue, tears are shed, relationships are redefined, classic rock songs are played loudly and meaningfully ("ohmigod, you're playing my song"), and the audience discovers we're in the 1970s, even though we suspected it earlier when everyone drove old cars to the funeral.

The film successfully makes us care less about the dead girl (played by a homely no-name actress), care a little bit about the new girl, and feel sorry for Jake. But mostly we just sigh loudly. It's a corny attempt to extract tears of sadness and joy, and a six-dollar admission fee from Grandma.