What originally drew my attention to the film Diggers was the cast. With Paul Rudd, Ken Marino (Ron Donald from Party Down) and Lauren Ambrose (Claire Fischer from Six Feet Under), I figured this would have to be a fairly amusing film. While the film did have its funny moments, it was much darker than I expected. Though it wasn’t exactly what I expected, I really enjoyed watching this film.
This film takes a look at a brother and sister duo as they attempt to deal with the sudden death of their father, played by Beeson Carroll. Hunt (Paul Rudd) was the one who found his father after he had passed away. He had been waiting for Hunt in his fishing boat where the two met often for their jobs, digging for clams. A funeral is quickly held and the audience is introduced to the main characters. We have Hunt’s sister Gina (Maura Tierney) who is very close with Hunt and even closer with her father whom she lived with. The other players are Hunt’s clam digging friends: the family man Lozo (Ken Marino) who is married to Julie (Sarah Paulson), the horn dog Jack (Ron Eldard) and the philosopher Cons (Josh Hamilton). While each of the side characters do have good side stories, the film is really about how Gina and Hunt handle the same situation in very different ways.
Both Gina and Hunt have lived in the same town all their lives and both have had a reason to stay there. They both had their father, they each have their own job and they have each other. After their father passed, both Gina and Hunt were forced to look at their reasons for sticking around. Gina realizes that she is happy where she is, with her own house, a job she enjoys and friends. Hunt on the other hand hates the town and hates his job. With no real reason to stay, Hunt tries to make up reason to force him to be anchored down. He convinces himself that Gina needs to be watched, protected and taken care of though she is perfectly fine on her own. He also begins a relationship with an out of town girl Zoey (Laura Ambrose). Hunt tries to convince himself that the relationship is getting serious but it becomes clear that for Zoey, it is just a summer fling.
This film had more layers than I anticipated, giving the characters room to grow and develop. Not only are Gina and Hunt going over their reasons to stay in their hometown, they are also forced to think about their time with their father. Gina pretty much knew where she stood but a little investigation shows Hunt that his father appreciated him more than he previously thought. On top of that, a commercial clamming company has moved into town and started buying up the surrounding water. Losing places to dig for clams, Hunt and his friends are left to try and fend for themselves while making enough money to support their own lifestyles, which in turn forces them to consider if their freelance digging is something that can support them forever.
While there was nothing particularly special about this film, I found it to be oddly compelling and enjoyable to watch. What really drew me into the film was the characters. There was a sarcasm and grittiness that existed in the dialogue, the set and the personality of the film that made it easy to connect with. I felt as if I were watching real people deal with real problems. The film’s ability to draw me in could be attributed mainly to the acting as most of the actors acted like real people. I give this film a 7 out of 10, it’s not a must see but it is certainly worth watching.