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Film / A Year and Change

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Sometimes in life, you just need a little change.

A Year and Change is an 2015 independent drama film directed by Stephen Suettinger. After getting drunk and hurt at a New Year's house party, protagonist Owen decides to revamp his life. He sparks up a relationship with Vera, a divorcee he meets at the party, as well as rekindling relationships with his estranged son, family members, and his neighbors.

The movie stars Bryan Greenberg as Owen and Claire van der Boom as Vera. The film also features TR Knight as Kenny, Jamie Chung as Pam, Marshall Allman as Victor, Jamie Hector as Todd, and Natasha Rothwell as Angie.

This Film provides examples of:

  • The Alcoholic: Owen, although an alcohol induced injury during a party is part of the motivating factor for him to get his life together and kick the habit.
  • Amicable Exes: At the beginning of the film, Cindy, Owen's ex-wife, cannot stand his him or his neglectful behavior, especially towards their son, but by the end of the movie, once Owen has greatly cleaned up his act, they are friendly enough to go out and do things in public together, and Cindy has also decided not to move to San Diego.
  • Book Ends: The movie begins and ends on New Years, with Owen ruminating on a saying "They say what you are doing on New Years Eve is what you'll be doing all of the next year." The first time he says it, he's in an emergency room, drunk, injured, and with a messy personal life. By the end of the movie, he's sober, in a happy relationship with Vera, has found a new family, and has bonded with his son. The last line of the movie is "I really hope that's true."
  • Bedroom Adultery Scene: Owen catches Pam in bed with his friend Pete the morning after the New Year's Party. He's pretty upset about it, despite having cheated on her at the party the night before with Pete's cousin and had given Vera his phone number.
  • Cheater Gets Cheated On: One of the first scenes of Owen we get is him having sex with another woman despite being in a relationship with Pam. The morning after the party, he finds Pam in bed with Pete. Subverted since it isn't shown that Pam was aware of Owen's infidelity, but was just being hedonistic.
  • Corruption of a Minor: The first scene we get of Kenny, he is giving alcohol to an underage girl while playfully flirting with her. We later learn that he was sexually involved with the girl, and a winds up in a legal situation because of it.
  • Disappeared Dad: Subverted. While Owen has been somewhat present in his son's life, he has been often drunk, and can't remember when he wants to pick him up for shoe shopping. His ex-wife, who has custody, wants to move across the country. When Owen objects, his wife retorts by pointing out that he barely sees him anyways. After witnessing Owen's growth throughout the movie and how he's finally bonding with Adam, she decides not to leave.
  • Driven to Suicide: After being confronted about being complicit in a rape case involving underage girls, Kenny eventually kills himself when it is looking likely he will end up in prison.
  • Gilligan Cut: At the beginning of the movie, Owen tells Pete that he needs to stop cheating on Pam (his girlfriend at the beginning of the movie), followed by an immediate scene of him having sex with another women in the bathroom.
  • Family of Choice: During his year of growth, Owen grows close with neighbors Angie and Todd, as well as relative Victor and love interest Vera.
  • Just Got Out of Jail: Victor has just been released from prison for computer hacking, and is trying to get back into society.
  • Karmic Nod: Pete acknowledges that "he deserved that" after Owen punches him in the face after catching him in bed with Pam.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: Vera is sporting one towards the end of the movie when she is in bed with Owen after sex.
  • Nailed to the Wagon: Owen finds some success with sobriety after breaking both of his arms and is unable to pick up alcoholic drinks on his own.
  • Pants-Positive Safety: Victor stores the revolver he steals from Kenny's closet in his waistband when confronting him. When they get into a fight, Kenny steals it back from Victor and later uses it to kill himself after Victor and Owen leave the cabin.
  • Posthumous Character: The ending reveals that the mysterious Jen that only Owen speaks to in letters, is actually his deceased twin sister, who died shortly after childbirth.
  • Talking to the Dead: Owen spends most of the movie speaking out what seems to be letters to a Jen, who was his twin sister that died shortly after childbirth.
  • Two-Timing with the Bestie: Pam cheats on Owen with his friend Pete, an event that helps spur Owen to reconsider his relationship with the former and friendship with the latter.
  • Visit by Divorced Dad: Owen has historically been terrible at doing these for his son, and part of his growth for the year is to be better at these.