Diggers is another small town indi-film with a group of slacker males, something which has been seen far too much in the recent history. Independent films are beginning to become more of a moody genre than anything else, and Diggers follows in this tradition, but it is still remarkably entertaining even if there isn’t much fresh about it and it doesn’t seem too hard to be trying anything original. A fine ensemble piece about a group of young men who are well on their way to becoming the cranky old clam diggers that their fathers were until a takeover by a large clamming corporation cuts down on the water they have to dig in.
Each of the clam diggers is handling the overtaking of their waters by a large company differently. Whether selling drugs on the side to make ends meet, dying, or just acting out rage all day, they are all adjusting, some better than others. It is a sort of mourning as their livelihood and way of life slowly dies. Interestingly enough, although Hunt (Paul Rudd) is literally mourning after his father who was also a clam digger and dies while working one day, he seems to be adjusting to all of the changes with less extreme behavior than any of his friends. Eventually it begins to build inside of him, and even as he prone to the fits of anger or depression that seem expected, the tension begins to show in his face. Rudd has long been able to blend comedic timing into his dramatic acting and dedication to his comedic roles, making each performance believably real, but Diggers is a film seemingly made to show Rudd’s subtle and restrained acting, which has profoundly remarkable moments which could easily be missed.
Jack (Ron Eldard) is a womanizer, using this as his way to cope with the troubles in his job, until he begins dating Hunt’s sister, Gina (Maura Tierney). This is a ticking time bomb throughout most of the film, but the final confrontation when Hunt discovers this secret is far more comical than is expected from most of the film. Ken Marino is fantastic as the loud-mouthed and foul tempered father of numerous kids and more on the way. He seems to be taking the cuts on money the hardest as he has the most to lose, as his wife (Sarah Paulson) never lets him forget. Their relationship is always full of heightened conversations and emotions, whether full of love or anger they are a fascinating pair. Their issues are about money, but one gets the impression that they might fight even if there was nothing to fight about.
Although abstaining from a completely traditional
Hollywood ending, Diggers is a soft independent film, not too far from predictable, but incredibly pleasant to watch just the same. There are many reasons why the film is unoriginal, or at least unimpressive, but I liked all of the actors in the film and had a great time watching it. Sometimes films don’t need to be great to be what we want to watch.