Five Star Day
You know what horoscopes are? They’re silly. They have three uses: the first is to put us in a good mood if they say we’re going to have a good day; the second is to make us feel smug at how much bullshit they are when they say we’re going to have a good/bad day and then we don’t; and finally to alert us to the presence of mental people by ensuring they have a topic to talk about that indicates their condition of being idiots. Unfortunately, Five Star Day‘s intention to explore them, even from a perspective of scepticism, means it takes the whole thing far too seriously.
Jake Gibson (Gigandet) has had a bad birthday. The most stereotypical bad birthday you could possibly write: he loses his job, discovers his girlfriend (Guill) is cheating on him (naturally by walking in on her) and his apartment goes haywire and ends up flooding. It’s a real bummer, of course, but made apparently worse because his horoscope promised him he’d have a “five star day” where everything went right.
Heartbroken that ALL ASTROLOGY would have the gall to LIE TO HIS FACE like that, he decides that his project for his Ethics class will be to disprove astrology. It’s not made clear what astrology actually has to do with ethics (the stars are morally bankrupt corporate whores, one would assume), but our hero sets out to find the three people who were born in the same hospital as him at the same time on the same day. If they also didn’t have “five star days”, he reasons, that will completely disprove astrology. Of course, they’ve all had awful birthdays as well (a cancer diagnosis, running over a child, etc.), but when meets Sarah Reynolds (Malone), it seems that maybe the stars had a plan for him all along.
There are several core problems here. The astrological twins idea is a lovely framing concept to hang the story around, but it’s never really delivered on, being picked up and discarded constantly with no consistency of tone or explanation. Some of the dialogue really shines, but the sections of monologue are a bit trite and largely unnecessary. The worst instance of this is the presentation Jake gives at the end about what he’s learned about the way horoscopes work and the life lessons he’s learned. Is rambling and makes few if any actual point beyond “isn’t life strange?”, yet the professor and all the students are nodding like he’s speaking philosophical gold. And did we mention this is meant to be an Ethics class?
A lot of these problems can be put down to the script which, despite a few good moments, is meandering drivel. It’s a real pity because Danny Buday is clearly a good director, especially considering that this is his first feature, and the film looks absolutely beautiful, with some really well-executed shots. Gigandet and Malone are also absolutely stellar as the central couple, managing between them to save this movie by delivering the crushingly mediocre script with conviction and style.
Five Star Day is not a bad film, but there’s clearly so much potential in it that’s just never realised. And Danny Buday can absolutely keep the director’s chair, but please, someone take away his typewriter.