Indie film communicates strong values with subpar production

One Year One Week DVD
Distributor: M. M. Gertz Entertainment
Length: 118 minutes

One Year One Week is a tale of two young men told in two parts. Sam comes from an abusive home and Brett occupies a place of privilege. They meet briefly in the reception area of an office where Sam is waiting for a job interview, while Brett is once again about to mooch off his successful brother. Other than this, their stories don’t intersect except to show that in each case change is possible even when it seems unlikely.

In One Year, Sam shares the story of a pivotal time in his life. Mrs. Carroll, Sam’s fifth grade teacher, is challenged to see behind his acting out. Becoming aware of his horrible home life turns her from antagonism to Sam’s biggest ally.

Is it naïve to think that one person can change the world? As Sam fondly recalls his teacher, whose support spurred him on to hard work and perseverance, the answer is clearly no. Sam’s world changed the moment Mrs. Carroll came alongside him.

One Week continues the story of Brett and his brother Dan Weeks, a successful businessman and philanthropist. When Dan is diagnosed with cancer and dies just six weeks later, Brett stands to inherit 20 million dollars, despite never having worked a day in his life. His world has been all about partying.

Dan knew better than to make it easy for Brett to continue his wayward lifestyle. Dan records a video in reference to his will that sends Brett on a scavenger hunt. He has one week to meet with a series of persons, each one revealing the identity of the next person he must contact, in order to finally discover whose signature is needed so that he can inherit his brother’s money.

My favorite scene is where he must face an ex-girlfriend that he dumped without ever telling her. It brings him to the point of confession.

These stories are predictable but succeed in conveying admirable values. Curiously, there are no religious references. This must be intentional. Perhaps it is to make this useable in secular settings.

Unfortunately, the filmmaking detracts from the message. The production values are less than standard. Though this film is not without merit, those with more refined tastes will want to skip this.

Michael Dalton