"Diving Normal" is a poignant, often introspective drama whose few lapses into melodrama are outweighed by the strong character work in the film's unlikely love triangle.
Based on a play by Ashlin Halfnight, who adapted the script with actor-producers Scotty Crowe and Philipp Karner, the film tracks the odd couple friendship between Brooklyn neighbors Fulton (Karner), a handsome graphic novelist, and Gordon (Crowe), a hyper-attentive library staffer with, it would seem, Asperger syndrome (though it's never identified). Enter Fulton's old high school classmate, Dana (Susie Abromeit), a model-beautiful health worker who's in recovery for drug and alcoholic abuse.
Although the skittish Dana's emotional scars run deep, she allows herself, against the advice of her addiction counselor (
Nicely directed by first-time feature helmer Kristjan Thor, who rarely betrays the material's stage roots, the film takes a few rough turns that lead to Dana's inevitable bottoming out. Otherwise, this well-acted piece is a gentle, humanistic look at the unexpected ways in which relationships form, flourish and flounder and how we define who — and what — is "normal."
MPAA Rating: None.
Running time: 1 hour, 31 minutes.