Directed by Jonathan Friedman
Written by Jonathan and Matthew Friedman
Starring L. Derek Leonidoff, Terry Jernigan



From the wilds of tidewater Virginia comes a feature film with the look and sound of a great deal richer budget than the $8,000+ the closing credits announce. It's called "Moving," and it is a charming film with a remarkably good script and some quirky wit to its credit.

It's the story of thirtyish Ron (L. Derek Leonidoff), who comes home from an out-of-town conference to find his house has disappeared. Not just disappeared, in the mysterioso, or Roswell, sense; it's been moved somewhere, by people unknown. Ron enlists his flaky friend John (Terry Jernigan) to help track it down, but is stymied by the cops and by his homeowner's insurance company. The film then becomes a Godardian odyssey out of "Weekend," taking the boys through encounters with a bearded prophet and a gorgeous pair of holdup women, and from explorations of flea markets to an alliance with an undercover group of anarchists, to, well, Leonardo DiCaprio, though perhaps not the one you're thinking of.

The film is good enough that its weaknesses pop out like zits on a pretty face. The acting is uneven. Leonidoff has some excellent moments, mostly when he's quiet and understated; he has a tendency to overact his moments of fear, as though he were playing two different personas. Jernigan is all frantic grins and excessive gestures; we wish desperately that director Jonathan Friedman had held him back, tying him down if necessary. Hand-waving and grimaces are the mark of an unprepared actor. The rest of the cast ranges from fine - the holdup women - to amateur city - the neighbor who eats. Although I pick on the actors here, the responsibility must lie with the director for not controlling them.

There's still much to like in "Moving." The story is witty and original; the screenplay, though it might do with a few judicious cuts, is perfectly serviceable, and the source music throughout is brilliant. The film has great charm and bodes well for its creators.