If you remember the film “David and Lisa”, “Fools”, winner of this years Dances With Films Audience Award, is a close millennial approach towards a similar relationship. How do you connect and find your way to love when the life you’ve lived has thrown a multitude of inhumane curve-balls, “Fools” suggest improbable synergy. “Fools” is filled with connections between the needy and the needed often switching places in mid-air.
Sam, played with beautiful sensitivity by: Micheal Szeles, is a troubled soul, living not far from his mother who has little real connection to him. He is continually finding himself fired from every job he lands. Jobs his mother arranges by calling in favors of past “suitors”. We meet Sam as he is leaving his latest failed purpose. Then follow him as he rides the L (train) to his modest single converted garage apartment .
While traveling we notice him being practically stalked by a very forward yet fragile and determined young woman-child. Susan, played with quiet- almost desperately powerful inner-forthrightness, (by Mary Cross), is determined to get closer to him. She plays a cat and mouse game with her fingers on the common vertical passenger handrail. We watch Sam take the bait by barely moving his timid fingers away from her’s and we are off and running.
As both Sam and Susan continue to get sabotaged in their personal lives, eventually fate and each characters determination to create a happy life, throws them together. Directed masterfully by award winning director, Benjamin Meyer, “Fools” takes place in Chicago, the perfect little town/big city back-drop for this beautifully intimate tale. It is accompanied by a pitch perfect original score composed by Craig DeLeon giving “Fools” a smooth soulful hip-folk feel .
Of the many connections in “Fools”, some of the particularly moving ones are created when Sam finds work as a Golden Pal, thanks to his mothers “connections”, delivering meals to the homes of the single and elderly. Here he finds his stride being of service to the shut- ins he assists. These connections allow for a healing and the beginning of personal insight and purpose for Sam. “Fools” may at first seem tragic and difficult but in time we find a story of possible triumph over circumstance.
“Fools “is an observation of the delicate nature of troubled souls finding ways to communicate that allow room for safe harbor, comfort and perhaps even freedom. All the difference in the world can come when like spirits become a lifeline for each other and begin to make sense out of madness.
Many independent films this year seem to focus on the struggling of the ordinary/average – extraordinary man or woman. “Fools” is not an easy ride but an intriguingly magnetic study of emotional and mental survival under extreme and often cruel circumstances. Raw and brutally honest, “Fools” will make you smile though your tears.
Rated PG 13 Adult situations and language
Writer?Director: Benjamin Meyer
Producer: Bethe Schacter, Dana Scott
Starring: Michael Szeles, Mary Cross