Hearing that Light From Light is a ghost story, you’re probably picturing a horror film of some kind. Upon discovering that it stars stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan as the male lead, maybe you are envisioning a wacky supernatural farce in the vein of the fun Extra Ordinary. Prepared to be shocked, as the Paul Harrill written and directed film is a contemplative drama about heartbreak and grief.
Shelia (Marin Ireland) is a single mother and a former ghost hunter, who now works for a car rental service. After hearing an interview with her on the radio, Father Martin (David Cale) contacts Shelia, believing he can help a member of his congregation. That person would be widower Richard (Jim Gaffigan), whose wife recently died in a plane crash.
“Shelia meets Richard and after hearing his story, agrees to investigate if there is a ghost haunting his house.”
Now, he thinks a supernatural presence is haunting his house as the floorboards creak when no one else is around, and the lights keep flickering. Shelia meets Richard and after hearing his story, agrees to investigate if there is a ghost haunting his house. She enlists the help of her son Owen (Josh Wiggins) and his girlfriend Lucy (Atheena Frizzell). The two young lovers are trying to figure out how serious they want to become, even if it means inevitable heartbreak down the road.
Light From Light isn’t all that interested in the details of the hauntings, or even if they are actually happening. It is merely a mechanism to get two well-meaning but broken people to meet. Harrill’s bittersweet screenplay hangs heavily to the silences Shelia and Richard share. The tacit resignation of certain life-altering facts that neither one of them is ready to admit to each other, but most of all to themselves. This is where the film draws its power and intensity.
The fresh, optimistic romance in the form of Owen and Lucy proves an engaging juxtaposition of where Richard and Shelia are right now. As she’s cooking dinner, Shelia watches the two teens practice their presentations for a school assignment. The energy with which they move and their innocent longing makes her smile. It is a lovely moment of happiness from a life that can’t seem to find much of it.
"…If Ireland and Gaffigan aren’t up for awards come the year’s end, it will be a crime."