“Five Star Day”
Very Good (3 stars)
Running Time: 97 minutes
Studio: Breaking Glass Pictures
Jake Gibson (Cam Gigandet) is eagerly anticipating enjoying a great birthday after reading a horoscope which predicts nothing but the best for Aquarians. Unfortunately, the rosy forecast turns out to be totally inaccurate as everything that could possibly go wrong does go wrong over the course of a bitterly-disappointing, 24 hours.
From a plumbing problem in his apartment to having his car stolen to getting fired, Jake can’t catch a break. Even when he returns home from work unexpectedly early, he catches his girlfriend in the arms of another man. Feeling duped, the suddenly-skeptical birthday boy decides to conduct his own study to assess whether astrology is reliable or simply pseudoscientific nonsense. And the research will simultaneously help him pass his course in Ethics, the last class standing between him and a college degree.
In order to determine if when and where you’re born is really a predictor of one’s fate, Jake uses hospital records to learn the identity of everyone who, like him, was born at St. Joseph’s around 10:30 p.m. on Feb. 6, 1982. After coming up with exactly three names, Sarah Reynolds (Jena Malone), Wesley Henderson (Max Hartman) and Yvette Montgomery (Brooklyn Sudano), he proceeds to go to great lengths to track down the trio for a friendly tete-a-tete.
But Jake soon learns that finding folks is one thing, getting them to talk to a stranger with a weird agenda is quite another. For naturally-suspicious Sarah is a hardened, bartending single-mom with an abusive ex always lurking in the shadows. Meanwhile, Wesley is a struggling, saloon singer facing a serious health issue, and Yvette has her hands full between her family and a job counseling troubled teens in the ‘hood.
Nonetheless, Jake refuses to be denied and his yeoman effort is the sum and substance of “Five Star Day,” a sweet, serendipitous drama written and directed by Danny Buday. Provided you are willing to swallow a silly premise which has the protagonist crisscrossing the country in search of his long-lost nursery mates, the picture proves to be a pleasant enough diversion, not for its examination of astrology but rather on account of the love story which blossoms between gentlemanly Jake and damsel-in-distress Sarah.
A romantic reminder of less-enlightened times when asking a woman her sign was actually a viable pickup line.