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Will (Josh Hopkins), a charming 35-year-old Philadelphia ad man, heads to Lebanon, Pa. to bury his recently deceased father. He forms an unexpected friendship with CJ (Rachel Kitson), his bright, newly pregnant 17-year-old cousin. As Will becomes interested in CJ's married teacher (Samantha Mathis) and CJ confronts her conflicted father, both struggle with formidable decisions about the path their lives will take. Can we vault our differences and meet in the middle? This bittersweet comic drama tenderly explores the cultural divide in America through the lives of one extended family.
"Lebanon, PA." is more a drama about inner conflicts than it is a comedy, there are some lighter moments in the film but the story is more about the inner conflicts we face when trying to find ourselves and our place in this world
The story focuses on Will who must travel to Lebanon, Pa. to bury his father and take care of what's left of the family estate. While there he meets his distant cousin who is in her final year of high school, CJ confides in Will and tells him about her secret pregnancy. There is much more to the story as well but these two characters alone bring out a lot of emotion in the audience, both have inner feelings about their past, present and their future. CJ is having a hard time with her father who is not for her having the child, the tug-of war between the two is a battle of Pro-Choice versus Pro-Life. Like I said before the film is more drama and raw emotions than a comedy, but it's also an effective and thought-provoking film that not only sends some messages but it also gets you thinking about your place in this world. The cast here did a wonderful job starting with Josh Hopkins as Will, Josh is an amazing actor and he brings all the right emotions to his character, but the stand-out performance for me was newcomer, Rachel Kitson, this young actress is magnificent as CJ and she is reason alone to watch the movie. It doesn't take long to become attached to the story and characters here, these are real people with real problems and decisions to make so can relate to and feel for them almost instantly.
"Lebanon, PA." is a film that reminds you that great cinema still exists and there are still some great story-tellers and directors out there making films that effect you and leave you thinking about long after they are over. Writer/Director, Ben Hickernell is one of those film-makers and I look forward to seeing what this talented man has coming next. There's a lot that can be talked about in regards to the film but to do so would only ruin the experience of seeing this wonderful Independent gem. I'm not going to recommend this to fan's of comedy or drama but instead I recommend it to anyone that loves cinema, "Lebanon, PA." is a film you will be telling your friends and family about, it's an engaging, emotional and stellar piece of cinema that will touch everyone that sees it.
Both the DVD and Blu-ray come with Special Features that include:
Behind The Scenes
Released by Monarch Home Entertainment
***** Out Of *****