Movie and Film Reviews (MFR) Drama “Diggers” DVD Review (2006 Release)

“Diggers” DVD Review (2006 Release)

If you’re in need of a breath of air from the usual over-dramatized plots that end so sweetly you can taste the syrup oozing out of the cracks of the DVD case, the movie Diggers (2006) could easily serve as an oxygen mask.
Set in 1976, Diggers serves up a believable slice-of-life story about a group of young people who have lived in a small Long Island clam-digging town their entire lives and are now struggling with various personal and community-related issues.
South Shell, a corporate clam-digging company, has moved into town and has restricted the waters that local diggers have been prone to trolling for generations. The corporation is leaving everybody in the town short in the pocket, including Lozo (Ken Marino, also the script’s author) who is married with six kids and one more on the way. At one point, Lozo, in a desperate attempt to keep his clan of little ones fed, swallows his pride and submits an application to South Shell. After a brutal rejection (the application casually winds up in the garbage can) Lozo goes loco and trashes the place, which leads to trouble later.
As if he doesn’t have enough to worry about with corporate enemies, main character Hunt (Paul Ruddo), a photographer and dreamer, is forced to deal with the sudden death of his father, with whom his relationship hadn’t been “picture-perfect” (pun delightfully intended!). He also feels that he has to keep an eye on older sister Gina (Maura Tierney), who is being consoled in more ways than one by Hunt’s womanizer friend, Jack (Ron Eldard).
The flick was actually filmed on location in Long Island and the visuals are eye-candy in a dirty-fisherman-kinda way. The film also interestingly uses a radio and television motif to set the time and place and give a political nod toward what was going on during that time period.
Although Diggers is mostly a drama, comedy is carefully crafted and subtly woven into the story. Cons (Josh Hamilton), a wiry stoner who names all the clams “Winston” while on a psychedelic acid trip, serves as a hilarious comedic relief throughout the entire movie.
Overall, Diggers is a really enjoyable, low-key watch. My only gripe is that while there aren’t big-breasted, blond babes running around, waiting to be rescued by large, strapping heroes who dodge a huge computer-generated explosion every five scenes, this is definitely a man’s story. Interestingly, Diggers was directed by a woman (Katherine Dieckmann), but I felt the role of women in the story was slightly demeaning. Hunt falls for city girl Zoey (Lauren Ambrose) who cold-heartedly rejects his love, Gina is scrutinized by her brother for wanting to have a little fun after a divorce, Julie (Sara Paulson) is constantly being intimidated and belittled by her husband Lozo and is basically solely in charge of their six children. She fits perfectly the description of “barefoot and pregnant” and for nearly every scene that she’s in she is carying a baby, who oddly never makes any noise except when Lozo attempts to hold her, which leads him to awkwardly shove the baby back to the mother. Not to mention Jack’s laundry list of lovers, and one scene where a hot babe pops up from underneath the steering column of his car as he beeps the horn and stretches his arms back in satisfaction.
At any rate, if you’re not a hard-core feminist then there’s no doubt you’ll enjoy this timeless tale of big corporation vs. the little guy, with believable personal drama and well-thought out comedy playing out in between!

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