Digging for Fire follows a couple as they go off in different directions and encounter different people that make them reflect on their marriage. Jake Johnson and Rosemarie DeWitt play a relatable modern couple who deal with raising a son, being in love, and getting older.
Literally everyone is in this movie. Orlando Bloom, Brie Larson, Anna Kendrick, Jenny Slate, Mike Birbiglia, Jake Johnson, Sam Rockwell, and Sam Elliot (without a mustache!) all have a part in this and it’s quite impressive. The only problem with having so many funny people is that they don’t have enough time to reach potential. They have an A-list cast that doesn’t allow them to necessarily do that much. Anna Kendrick does effectively nothing and she was nominated for an Oscar. Brie Larsen won an Oscar, but she has way more screen time so it’s fine.
Still in a movie where not a lot of things actually physically happen, it actually turned into an interesting movie about parenthood, young millennial marriage, and the struggles of getting older. Interestingly enough, the script to this movie contained no dialogue and was based on a similar experience that Jake Johnson, the actor playing the husband, Tim, had with his wife in a rental home. The actors that got involved were either friends of Johnson or Joe Swanberg, the other director involved. The only one obtained with an agent was Orlando Bloom. That explains the massive ensemble cast. Improvisation was a massive part of the film and each actor individually contributed aspects and actions of their characters.
Jake Johnson is extremely charismatic actor, and he plays the boy-man type often but well. His wife is played by Rosemarie Dewitt, plays his opposite, she is more serious but still playful and likeable. He is a gym teacher and she is a yoga instructor and they struggle to try to raise their son in LA without the financial assistance of her parents. The little boy who plays Johnson’s son is actually the son of Joe Swanberg, and oh my God he is adorable.
I think the only real problem I have with the film is the title. Which as far as films go, that’s not too bad. But it really is a stupid title, and I mean I guess there is digging involved but it doesn’t have too much to do with the main plot. Even the synopsis on amazon says that the significant event prompting the two directions that protagonists take is the finding of the gun and the bone, but this has nothing to do with anything. She leaves so he can do the taxes. And they keep finding things as they dig, but it’s just a thing to do. It could easily be left behind and the movie would be just as good because the real interesting parts are the dynamics of the two characters apart from one another as they flirt with infidelity and adjust to life as a married couple with a child and being the only one of their friends to be in that situation. Coming from the background knowledge tat it is based on an actual event Johnson had experienced and that was really the only structure the film was based upon, it makes more sense. Still overall, it is a quick watch, a great use of some amazing actors, and one of Jake Johnson’s best feature films.
Amy’s Recommendation: 7.5/10
I now believe that Mike Birbiglia only owns one shirt because I just finished watching his Netflix comedy special Thank God for Jokes and I am 90-99% sure he is indeed wearing the exact same shirt.