Hurricane Sandy may just be a distant memory for many of you, especially if you live in the Midwest. However, Mother Nature's wrath from many different storms such as Sandy, Katrina, and Gilbert, to name a few, leaves a sometimes devastating memory for those who are directly touched. The seaside residents in New Jersey, just two and a half years ago, are still recovering from Sandy's powerful punch. The new film "A Rising Tide," starring Hunter Parrish and Ashley Hinshaw, gives us a beautiful love story that stems from the heart of a community's recovery as well as one individual after Hurricane Sandy.
As a young chef prepares the day's catch in an elegant and delectable manner, he sees on television the warnings of an approaching Hurricane called Sandy. Thinking this is yet another time that the media is blowing things out of proportion, Sam (Parrish) decides to stay and throw a party for all those non-believers of the intensity of this storm. As we all know too well, the aftermath of this particular storm wiped out entire neighborhoods and towns. People lost their homes and businesses and Sam's family restaurant is no exception in this film's story. This talented and classically trained chef is now penniless, forcing him to move back home with his parents and work in his dad's restaurant. As luck would have it, he meets a girl; unfortunately, this girl is married to a very wealthy, powerful, and greedy young man. And there begins the complicated love story.
The film follows Sam as he attempts to build himself back up, both professionally and emotionally. While this is a love story at the core, it is also a reminder of how strong we can be as a family and as a community, as we help one another. In "A Rising Tide," life is a roller coaster ride, placing this young man in situations that could have made him give up his dreams. Reaching out to others, giving and asking for help when it's needed, Sam learns not only how to survive, but to grow and understand how to prevail.
Destruction and creation are the polar opposites portrayed in this film with delicate balance. Sometimes they co-exist inside of the characters and sometimes they are forces outside of their control. The sense of community and family that this film portrays is beautiful. And the creation of scrumptious seafood delights will make your mouth water! There is always such emotion and love when food is prepared and this film takes it to a higher level as it is the focal point of all the aspects of the story. From financial struggles to marital issues, and father-son relationships, "A Rising Tide" evokes a a well-seasoned sense of understanding and love.
Hunter Parrish, who you might recognize from the TV series 'Weeds,' takes your breath away with his emotional power. He skillfully portrays a frustrated, yet ambitious young man falling in love with a beautiful young woman. Given the multiple levels of this character, Parrish brings a sense of reality to the role. He's a son, but an adult. He's struggling, but he wants to be independent and still creative and true to himself. He is a chef and he is in love. With sensible writing, bringing in dialogue that is fluid and real, the entire film falls into place.
Tim Daly is one of those actors whose subtle style adds a rich flavor to any role. Here he plays a rich yet private individual who befriends Sam. We watch as the outer layers of his guarded personality are revealed ever so carefully. Daly is always a pleasure to see in any role and this part is no exception. Victor Slezak is Sam's father and anyone who is a parent can identify with his reactions and interactions with his son. The entire cast brings reality to this semi-fictional tale.
"A Rising Tide" is a beautiful love story not just about a young complicated couple, but also about a father and son and a love of one's family and community. Taking a real catastrophe, Hurricane Sandy, and finding ways to weave in many different situations that residents experienced, then blending it seamlessly into this sweet, fictional story is simply sublime. Toss in a creative and fresh food being prepared into sophisticated comfort food and you have the icing on the cake of an already deliciously delightful film.