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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

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Plot Overview

middle age mansnowboundaccountant
at deskSevere winter weather has forced the closure of a “little regional airport” in Minnesota stranding a passel of passengers. It boasts a customer service kiosk called “Ask Betty,” which uses AI to update connections, direct passengers and answer questions. It also employs facial recognition soft­ware tapped into the cameras to monitor them in case they need redirecting—as with auto­mobile navigation. Safety is its top priority. What could go wrong?

College News

loversPassenger William “Bill” Davis (David Duchovny) travelling on business bumps into Willamina “Willa” Davis—not related—(Meg Ryan) who's on a personal journey. They were lovers twenty-five years ago at the University of Wisconsin, and in the course of catching up, Willa takes a phone call on Bill's cell—he'd stepped away for a moment—from his ex-wife Beth Anne. While explaining to him it was from Beth, they were monitored by AI Betty who thinks she (it) is being addressed. So over the PA system (Hal Liggett voice) they're given prompts from time to time, which have little to do with their actual conver­sation but sound like double entendres from the universe.

At this point the technology veers into the Twilight Zone. Local news/weather/sports station KTRF near Thief River Falls broad­casts an update on the storm. TRF besides being an acronym for Thief River Falls also stands for tuned radio frequency, a kind of set used in bygone days until supplanted by the ubiquitous superhetrodyne.

TRF receiver

TRF circuit diagramShown above is one having a rotary switch labeled Wave­length for antenna setting, followed by three resonant circuits in series needing to be tuned individually to the station you want. For all that, it still lacked selectivity, so the superhet succeeded it being superior by generating a tunable signal to be mixed with the received signal resulting in one at a fixed intermediate frequency easy to design a sharp filter for. A draw­back was that in mixing it also receives a signal on an image frequency that has to be filtered out. Double conversion in advanced receivers produces two images to be worked around. Yet in Minnesota where there aren't many AM stations to inter­fere with each other, one may do quite well with a TRF receiver, and at an airport it would be safer than a superhet, not sending out its own signal to inter­fere with an airplane's sensitive instruments.

Willa tells Bill there are three reasons couples break up: the reason they tell their friends, the reason they tell each other, and the truth. Those bogus reasons would correspond to the images produced by our modern radios if not filtered, while the wire­less sets of days past only got the true signal how­ever imperfectly. Two other cascading technologies we see here are Willa's rain stick and the water­fall display board.

flute and drumkite above pyramidThe three complementing reasons for their breakup were: she lost the baby—other­wise they'd still be together,—he was “ballast” to be thrown out when she wanted to go higher, and on the rebound she dated a bass musician—known unreliable—him­self on the low notes who left when the going got rough.


If there's ought to be learned here, it might be along the lines of something in a George Ade novel:

It is largely a question of compatibility. … Harmless compound No. 1—harmless compound No. 2. You put them together and the result is an explosion. Poison No. 1 added to poison No. 2 gives a harmless neutral. Two beautiful colors—put them together and you have discord. Matrimony is often a plunge in the dark. The man never knows whether he will land on a bed of roses or a nest of thorns. (13–14)


We share the couple's angst trying to work things out, and the writers have done us a favor by giving us unpre­dict­able back­ground actions to practice on. A wise man did the same in, (Prov. 30:18-19) “There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not: The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.”

“The way of an eagle in the air”—drifting then swooping suddenly on its prey—represents unpredictable aerial acrobatics. When our stranded traveling pair declare they want some­thing to eat, the attentive PA tells them to look up, to look around. There's a sign above their heads reading Altitude Café next to an arrow pointing down. Are things looking up for them or down?

“The way of a serpent upon a rock” corresponds to Bill walking the wrong way on a pedestrian conveyor so he remains stationary next to Willa standing on the other side of the rail. A lot of motion to stay in one place.

“The way of a ship in the midst of the sea” corresponds here to two planes on adjacent runways about to take to the sky. Their passengers signal to each other through the port­holes. What was that all about?

Production Values

” (2023) was directed by Meg Ryan who wrote the script with Steven Dietz and Kirk Lynn. It was based on Dietz's play, “Shooting Star.” It stars Meg Ryan, David Duchovny and Hal Liggett. The two leads do not disappoint and the third voiced does not upstage them.

happy hugThere is one dance scene, which was impressive considering the advanced age of the dancers. They could really cut a rug turning this movie into a musical in its own right.

MPAA rated it R for language, some sexual references and brief drug use. It was filmed at the North­west Arkansas National Air­port, Benton­ville, Arkansas, USA. Cinema­tog­rapher Bartosz Nalazek did a professional job. The screen­play being based on a stage play resulted in simplified sets and props. The acting, chemistry, and dialogue were all excellent. Run­time is 1 hour 43 minutes.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

This movie was made for aficionados of the theater. Its theme was similar to one in an episode of TV sitcom “Happy Days” in which a high schooler has a fantastic inter­action with a girl he meets at camp. They are planning to reunite, but he asks his mentor Fonzie for advice. The Fonz tells him he's experienced what's called a “magic moment” that cannot be repeated, so don't try. They try any­way and it's a dud. Here in this movie we encounter another magic moment, and we hope its principals are mature enough to pass it off as “unsustainable.” Still, we can't help but wish the universe would prove Fonzie wrong.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Not even running for the plane. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Well, at least you can't see the strings. Video Occasion: Good Date Movie. Suspense: A few suspenseful moments. Overall movie rating: Five stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Ade, George. Doc' Horne. Copyright 1899 by Herbert S. Stone & Co. New York: Grossett & Dunlap, 1899. Print.