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5 Star Day

Cam Gigandet has a problem with astrology in Danny Buday’s 5 Star Day. [Photo: Breaking Glass Pictures]

5 Star Day 1 out of 4

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When upset about a relationship, some angry boyfriends yell at their girlfriends, others pound some drinks or hang out with their buddies; more sensible ones might just try and talk a problem out. Jake Gibson (Cam Gigandet), the center of the constellation known as 5 Star Day, a film that's not so much skeptical of astrology as confused about it, tries to disprove astrology. Why? Because, as he says, his girlfriend "believes in it. And I am going to make her stupid for believing in it. Because I am not the stupid one." Besides this line, though, you'd never really know that Jake is upset that she cheated on him. He really just seems to care about astrology.

A metrosexual Berkeley student, Jake does his laundry before dropping in late to class, one that he needs to get an A in to pass. His attitude is flippant. Instead of putting in his time at the library, researching for his presentation that's due soon, he jumps on a plane and shows up in Chicago to find Sara (Jena Malone), the first of three people he will interview who share his exact birth date and place. Instead of calling or emailing beforehand, Jake displays a total lack of tact by just showing up at their workplaces, making him seem like one creepy researcher and calling into question how he applied to Berkeley (did he just show up for class one day?) or picked up his girlfriend (did he follow her home?). As you can imagine, the two women he's supposed to have the same fate as, Sara and Yvette (Brooklyn Sudano), get creeped out and all but pepper spray him and kick him in the groin.

His scientific method is thorough: He believes that if they all didn't have the same experience on their birthdays then astrology is false. The details of his own birthday include losing his job, breaking up with his unfaithful girlfriend, and, in a scene that stretches the plausibility of his bad day way too far, helplessly calling 911 after his sink knob explodes only to have an operator direct him to his water shut-off valve. But if the latter scene made him seem stupid in a forgivable way, the line he delivers to his studious roommate who's been coaching him through his research proves Jake to truly be a lunkhead: "I don't get it. I mean if we all have the same horoscope and he's dyin', what does it mean?" The person he's referring to is Wesley (Max Hartman), a terminally ill lounge singer he tracks down and bonds with in Atlantic City.

While all the actors bring considerable charm to their roles, 5 Star Day can be too charming, masking the fact that it's not at all serious about Jake's specious research and instead reveals itself to be a contrived love story between Jake and Sarah. During a scene of unbearable nonsense, Jake shares his conclusions about whether astrology really is "a propaganda campaign of bullshit" with his class. The music on the soundtrack swells, the class looks rapt, and the professor ponderous. But the actual drivel coming out of Jake's mouth is anything but the insightful work of a student going the extra mile. In what's essentially a gush of feel-goodness, he claims that maybe people shouldn't ask if astrology is true because "whether you believe in chance, free will, or destiny, sometimes when you look into another person's eyes you just know…it's all in the stars."

Director(s): Danny Buday Screenwriter(s): Danny Buday Cast: Cam Gigandet, Jena Malone, Julianna Guill, Nick Chinlund, Tad Hilgenbrink, Richard Riehle, Mark Boone Junior, Will Yun Lee, Patricia Belcher, Brooklyn Sudano Distributor: Breaking Glass Pictures Runtime: 97 min Rating: NR Year: 2010

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