In my youth, I’m talking as a child here, maybe seven or eight years old…I was incredibly drawn to the signs of the Zodiac. It probably had something to do with the way my Grandmother and Great Grandmother described the horoscopes in our local newspaper to me everyday…to my young ears it sounded like I was in the most important club of all time, the Pisceans! It was most certainly fueled further by the Zodiac signs being incorporated into the mythos of the Battlestar Galactica series back in 1978 and the Re-Imagining in 2004. While I never gave much thought to Astrology, my Great Grandmother certainly did, so I’ve always been entertained by it all to say the least.
When our friends at the Platform Media Group were kind enough to send me a review copy of Danny Buday’s (A&E’s Biography) debut film, 5 Star Day, I was quite interested when I learned that Astrology is the main character’s motivation or his quest to disprove it all rather.
The story revolves around Jake Gibson (Cam Gigandet), a guy that would seem to put a bit of stock in his daily horoscopes. The newspaper proclaims he is going to have a 5 star day and what can make that better than with it falling on your birthday? Well…all in one day he loses his job, finds out his girlfriend is cheating on him, and has his car stolen. That is one bad birthday no matter how you cut it but Jake decides that for his Ethics Class thesis he is going to disprove Astrology once and for all. How? By hitting the road and finding the three other people that were born on the same day at the same hospital at roughly the same time as himself. This ‘adventure’ will lead him to cross paths with Sarah (Jena Malone), Yvette (Brooklyn Sudano), and Wesley (Max Hartman). Interviewing them on his video camera for his thesis he is determined to learn how their own birthdays played out and not to step too deeply into spoilers here but…they didn’t exactly have the greatest things happen to them either.
While not in subject matter obviously, the film reminded me a bit of Ben Stiller’s Reality Bites from 1994. It just had the same feeling for a lack of a better word. I was very happy to see character actors, Nick Chinlund (Training Day, ConAir, Chronicles of Riddick) as Jake’s Professor of Ethics and the always awesome Mark Boone Junior (Memento, Batman Begins, 30 Days of Night) as the Homeless Prophet (This character needs his own film).
5 Star Day has toured the circuits and taken Best Feature at the Stony Brook Film Festival, and was the opening night film at the Newport Beach Film festival, closing night film at the Beverly Hills Film and New Media Festival and played in my neck of the woods in fact at a local film festival.
I found the film to be moving and the cast did a fantastic job, I particularly enjoyed the work of Max Hartman as Wesley, a lounge singer in the style of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. In fact Max sings his own songs in the film and is really good!
5 Star Day is hitting your favorite digital entertainment providers and physical store shelves on DVD and Blu-Ray this Tuesday, February 7th. Which is kind of funny in a way, the characters in the film were born on February 6th.