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By Alan Ng | July 19, 2019

From writer/director Aaron Wertheimer, Skippers follows the life of an introspective drifter, who travels from town to town collecting smooth stones and skips them across nearby lakes. Why? Because every stone was meant to be skipped.

The film opens with Carver (Chris Roberti) pontificating about the hobby/sport of skipping stones until he is interrupted by the nearby town’s real estate agent Kevin (Kenny Zimlinghaus). To say that Kevin is irritated by the drifter is an understatement. The mere act of collecting stones and skipping them is wreaking havoc on the property values of the town…so says Kevin. Carver must be stopped.

As Carver heads to the local bar, he befriends the bartender Tanya (Julie Mann), but this friendship is short-lived as Carver takes the smooth stones from a decorative jar she bought. Again, he makes no friends as he encounters the Backgammon Boys (Daniel Napolitano”DNap” and Hannah Worrell) and talks them into giving him their smoothest stones that were being used as backgammon pieces.

“…an introspective drifter, who travels from town to town collecting smooth stones and skips them across nearby lakes.”

Carvers life is dedicated to skipping stones, but the contrast between his laid-back lifestyle and Kevin’s well-ordered, set-in-his-ways approach to life ultimately leads to the story’s final confrontation.

While I appreciate films that take risks, and I always reward those that try something different, the other side of success is failure and Skippers just comes in a step or two shy of success. Skippers has a few things going for it. Excellent performances from its cast and a direction for every character. Many of the supporting characters are quirky and not done for the sake of getting cheap laughs. Also, the production values are good with great shots of a small town and of stone skipping.

Unfortunately, Skippers is a one-hour comedy with humorous ideas, but very few laughs. A guy who spends his life skipping stones is an interesting idea, but just interesting. Kevin has a very detailed view of his perfect sandwich, and as he berates his apprentice Jake (Brian Jolles) for missing a detail, it’s interesting, but not necessarily funny. Most jokes consist of an interesting premise, a twist, and a punchline. Most ideas in the film are interesting set-up with no punchline.

At least, Skippers has a cohesive story about taking a step back and enjoy the life that surrounds you, which is easy to do in this idyllic small-town location. The film’s deadpan approach to comedy with no payoff, just may not be enough for audiences to sit through to the end.

Skippers (2018) Written and directed by Aaron Wertheimer. Starring Chris Roberti, Kenny Zimlinghaus, Kate Villanova, Julie Mann.

5 out of 10 stars

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