Tagline: A story about a mostly normal young man who makes the most out of fitting in when he obviously doesn't.
Plot: In the cold, small-town heartland that has always been the defining state of mind for America, there are two worlds. There is a community whose focal point is the football team, and there is the alienated existence of the kid who doesn't fit in. In The Good Life, a debut feature that is remarkable for its maturity and sophistication, filmmaker Steve Berra unerringly sketches a portrait of life in these environs that is at once full of torment and hope.
Jason Prayer (Mark Webber) works two jobs, struggles with his uncaring family, is tortured by a bully, and in general is quietly suffocating in the provincial insularity of his town. Other than that, the local cinema, which is literally on its last legs -- as is its aging operator, Gus (Harry Dean Stanton) -- is Jason's one escape and window to the outside world. But when he is courted by a mysterious stranger (Zooey Deschanel), his desperate life takes a turn. As a response to the lessons of Capra-corn in It's a Wonderful Life, and with a nod to The Last Picture Show, Berra offers a ray of light in these dark times -- a modern vision about the contradictions of small-town life. -- © Sundance Film Festival
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