Before/During/After tells the story of a breakup. It isn’t a linear storyline with the before, during and after sections neatly organized. They are all stirred together in a jumble. Still, it makes sense. This indie film is streaming on Prime Video.
Before/During/After was written by and stars Finnerty Steeves as Jennie. Jennie is a 40ish actress in NYC, which is what Finnerty Steeves is in real life. For 15 years she’s been married to the very handsome David (Jeremy Davidson). David’s work involves delivering sailboats.
After he was gone a while delivering a boat, Jennie discovers phone calls to the same number every day since he got back. After some arguing and confrontations, it comes out that David was having an affair.
There are 5 therapists in the film. Some Jennie and David went to as couples before the breakup, some Jennie tried on her own after the divorce. Most of them, like Richard Masur above, were a bit odd and unhelpful.
The progress of the breakup was actually pretty smooth. Nobody got overly emotional. Jennie had some wonderful supportive women friends, her parents stuck by her side. She tried going on dates. And she kept auditioning for parts in plays and commercials. Everyone was very grown up about the whole thing.
The extra treat in this film was the NYC actors and actresses who stepped in for a bit part. An array of actors who are stars in their own right played friends, therapists, divorce helpers, diner cooks, dentists. This includes – among many others – Miriam Shor, Kate Burton, Liza Colón-Zayas, Deirdre O’Connell, Marin Hinkle, Ashlie Atkinson, John Ellison Conlee, John Pankow, Kathleen Chalfant, Austin Pendleton and Kristine Sutherland. It was a parade of stars.
Finnerty Steeves has an impressive list of acting gigs, but this is her first ever writing credit. She got the tone of a broken relationship exactly right. There’s humor and heart. The script was clever and strong. It wasn’t a great film, but it had meat and meaning. It had something to say about getting through hard times.
The film was directed by Stephen Kunken, who played one of the 5 therapists, and Jack Lewars.
Here’s a preview.
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