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Diggers: A Quietly Charming Slice of Life

Diggers is less like a movie than a moment, a few minutes of poking your head into someone else's life. It's a small, quiet movie where nothing much happens, but its subtle charms make it worth a look — especially because it's already available on DVD.

Diggers focuses on a ragtag group of of clam diggers growing up on Long Island in 1976. It's a hardworking but mostly comfortable life — until a big corporation starts encroaching on their turf. In the midst of the storm is Hunt (played with a quiet sweetness by Paul Rudd), a slacker-digger who oversleeps one morning and later finds his father, whom he was supposed to dig with that day, dead in the water. The death prompts Hunt and his friends — the angry Frankie (Ken Marino, who also wrote the movie), lowbrow pot dealer Cons (Josh Hamilton), and ladies' man Jack (Ron Eldard) — to re-examine their own lives, so

For Hunt, that means developing a flirtation with Zoey (Lauren Ambrose), a city girl visiting Long Island. It's clear that Hunt isn't completely resigned to the digger life — he's also a wannabe artist who takes black-and-white Polaroids of everything — and Zoey encourages Hunt's desires to escape. I'm not quite sure what to make of Zoey; she's written like a city sophisticate, but Ambrose plays her as something more suspicious, like she's hiding a whole history we don't really ever see.

But it hardly matters, because at its heart, Diggers is a buddy film. I couldn't help being reminded of Beautiful Girls, another movie about a clan of old friends. In Diggers, the guys are so used to being around each other that their greeting is the finger and their banter is sharp but old-sweatshirt comfortable. Their dramas are small but not insignificant, and that's what ultimately makes Diggers feel real.

Photos courtesy of Magnolia Pictures


Join The Conversation
andaman andaman 10 years
Hey this looks like my kind of film. I will look for it. Thanks buzz
mallomar mallomar 10 years
Put this on my Netflix. I adore Paul Rudd and I know you do too Buzz.
Linda-McP Linda-McP 10 years
Thanks for the review, Buzz. Looking forward to seeing this.
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 10 years
I can't wait to see this! Especially now that you compared it to Beautiful Girls!
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