Helping him with the film is d-list movie producer Monty Pennington (Eric Roberts) and actress/sushi girl/escort Emma (Ellen Toland). Now all Ben has to do is raise $5,500 on a crowd-funding site, and he can get back into film school. As you would imagine, Ben starts to develop feelings for Emma. Ben soon begins to self-sabotage his efforts at returning to school and finding love by going off his meds.
Reading back this description, Inside The Rain is a much more thoughtful movie about the day-to-day struggles of mental health than it seems. Aaron Fisher’s debut film is decidedly a comedy, but never draws its laughs by making light or fun of Fisher’s real struggles. He just lays his life out there, and its humorous moments bubble to the surface. Amidst the laughs come genuine and authentic moments from Fisher’s personal experiences.
“…a much more thoughtful movie about the day-to-day struggles of mental health than it seems.”
Inside The Rain succeeds primarily because of its cast. Rosie Perez just shines as Dr. Holloway. When she makes a claim of curing Ben, her confidence and character’s insight makes you believe she can do it, but in an unexpected way. Eric Robert’s role as Monty is more than just his usual cameo as the part is meatier, and Roberts seems to revel in the role of the indie film producer, who’s studio is his garage. As the love interest Emma, Ellen Toland is smart and empathetic as her character delves deep into a complicated relationship with Ben. One of my favorite smaller roles is Catherine Curtin and Paul Schulze as Ben’s parents, who clearly love their son, want him to be safe, and refuses to coddle to his every request. They offer a beautiful blend of sweet, stern, and frustrated.
It’s Aaron Fisher who comes off as the real star of Inside The Rain. I suppose since this is his story, he’s the only one who could pull off the writing, directing, and acting, or then again, maybe it’s the OCD. Either way, it’s impressive how much Inside The Rain works as a single, cohesive film. There’s rarely a misstep, if any at all, and nothing feels forced. In the end, you root for Ben, laugh at the right spots, feel satisfied by the ending and understand a little more about the everyday struggle for mental health.
Inside The Rain screened at the 2019 San Diego International Film Festival.
"…rarely a misstep, if any at all, and nothing feels forced."