Listless clam diggers in 1970s Long Island... sounds like a recipe for comedy, right?
I'm not sure what director Katherine Dieckmann
(best known as an R.E.M. video director) thought she was grabbing hold of here, but this melodrama (tinged with cheap gags) is all atmosphere, broad Lawn Guyland accents, and jokes at the expense of Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford. Even the "crying Indian" makes an appearance.
Oh, what's it about. Nothing. Nothing at all. It's one of those kinds of movies. A bunch of guys (four friends, of course, the archetype of all movies about nothing) spend their days digging for a dwindling number of clams, then alternately go drinking, fight with the wife, sex up the Manhattanite on holiday, or just get stoned. The movie bounces around the four guys almost at random, with only a few overarching plot points -- the death of one's father, an unwanted pregnancy -- bringing them together in even the most trivial of ways. Article continues below
Ostensibly Diggers is about personal growth, but you'd be hard-pressed to put your finger on anything consequential to come out of this crew. One character (facing his fifth child and no income to speak of) sells out to the big clam corporation, but it's Paul Rudd
's Hunt, who ultimately decides that maybe this clam digging business isn't for him. Whether that's a good or a bad thing -- he's evidently trading his clam shovel for his Polaroid camera -- remains to be seen.
Diggers isn't a completely lost cause. It's packed full of talent that's far more capable than actor Ken Marino
's sleepy script. Good for them, but bad for us, because the entire time you're watching Diggers you're wishing you could be watching these actors (Rudd, Lauren Amrbose
, Maura Tierney
) in a more interesting movie. Even Marino himself is engaging, though his script is as sleepy as they come. Jesus, just writing this review makes me want to take a nap.