Come Early Morning **
"Come Early Morning" is the first feature from Joey Lauren Adams, the actress from "Chasing Amy," and "Big Daddy." And it shows. This is an obvious freshman attempt at making a film-showcasing everything from a predictable story with one dimensional characters, and also one where nothing original happens. And she even managed to get a big star to be in it to seal the deal when it comes to distribution. In this case, it's Ashley Judd, who is acceptable, but doesn't exactly do anything groundbreaking with her performance. This is a sloppy start to a career as a director.
"Come Early Morning" pretends to be a character drama, focusing on one woman-Lucy Fowler, played by Judd. Lucy is a vulnerable young woman who lives with her sister, Kim. Lucy works at a construction site and she's good at what she does. Her name and the word promotion are often in the same sentence. Unfortunately for her, she has one major flaw-she mostly spends her evenings in the bar, and then spends the rest of the night with some stranger that she manages to pick up. Her sister watches the same thing happen over and over again. Lucy leaves the house at night, and doesn't return until the following morning, still in the same clothes she was in last time Kim saw her. Lucy has a bad relationship with her father, who she never actually forgave for having an affair, and never being around when she was a little girl. And then during a bar fight with the woman that slept with her father, she is separated by Cal, who takes an instant liking to her. The two start a relationship of sorts, which works well except for the fact that she can't stop drifting towards her old ways. For some reason she simply cannot trust men, but she tries her best not to hurt Cal. She likes him, but doesn't want to commit to anything.
It's simple premise is what ends up hurting "Come Early Morning." I'm all for character films where not too much happens with plot, but the plot in this is just so standard that this reeks of influence from other, and better, films. Lucy is somewhat an acceptable character, and Judd plays her alright given the material that she had. The others seem like they are the walking dead, especially Scott Wilson as Lucy's father. He looks like he just woke up and wants to go back to sleep. And then Laura Prepon, who you may know from "That 70's Show," who pretty much just stares straight ahead giving meaningful advice to Lucy. She's the voice of reason in this piece. I can admire Ms. Adams for trying to make a film of her own, which was apparently made on a personal note to her, but she is telling a story that simply doesn't need to be told. There isn't much enjoyment out of this, and I was bored. I've seen enough tales of the weak woman trying to get a hold of herself, and this was not a fine installment in that series. Even the soundtrack seems to have been borrowed from other movies-the typical plucks of the guitar for the country music theme. Perhaps Ms. Adams could form a better second feature, maybe something a little more original and something a little more engrossing. "Come Early Morning" just doesn't cut it.