Here Lies Joe

You have to be careful who you talk to in a support group, especially when you're new. Just ask the title character in Here Lies Joe (Dean Temple), who's just started attending a suicide prevention support group. It's run by Bill (Timothy J. Cox), who means well but seems to be more concerned with what's appropriate than with anyone's well-being. To be fair, the overly happy slogans everywhere may have skewed his thinking.

He definitely doesn't approve of Z (Andi Morrow), for example. She barges in late, makes more noise than everyone else put together, and is generally completely irreverent. Fellow member Carol (Mary Hronicek) says Z isn't even suicidal, though Carol herself probably isn't the best judge of anyone else's mental state. But Z insists she's just waiting until her suicide note / poem is perfect.

She's no less irreverent when bumming a ride from Joe, though since his car looks like it should be in the salvage yard I'm not sure I would've wanted to ride in it myself. Despite his deep reluctance, Joe finds himself doing things he would never have imagined doing, like climbing trees. All in all, it's probably one of the most surreal days of his life. But there was a reason Joe was at that meeting, and one strangely fun afternoon isn't enough to change anyone's life. Or is it?

Like the movie itself, Andi Morrow's Z has the perfect mix of mischievousness and despair, while Dean Temple convincingly portrays Joe's slow realization that he might have a future as well as a past. Just like real people, especially those with depression, they get through life one day at a time, even just one moment at a time. Their shared journey is very fragile and very real, and you won't want to look away.

Image: 
Joe contemplates the cemetery and also his car keys.

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