It’s easy to go a little off the rails after the loss of a loved one. The situation can be even worse when the loss comes after a prolonged illness and you’ve been forced to watch someone you care about fade away bit by bit. That’s what happens to Diana (Diane Bakos) in the short film The Last Fishing Trip. She’s been looking after her brother Edward (Mike Connelly) in his final days, and now that he’s gone she finds herself deeply lonely and uncertain as to what to do next.
Clinging to the memory of the last good experience she and Edward were able to share — the fishing trip of the title — Diana packs a suitcase and drives from her small town to New York City, just because Edward had wanted to visit the Big Apple. With nowhere to go and all day to get there, she wanders through Times Square and rides the subway aimlessly. Then she has a conversation with Patrick (Lester Greene of Night Job), a New York native who offers her a tour of all the best spots.
At first an emotional wreck, Diana finally begins to find some peace through Patrick’s quiet, accepting approach to living. But even if she has help this will still be a difficult and overwhelming journey, and there may be setbacks ahead. She might just end up making a leap of faith that could help her learn to trust life — and herself — all over again.
Writer-director Christopher Fox offers up a quietly thoughtful look at what can happen when we’re faced with mourning a loved one and the prospect of our own mortality at the same time, a combination that might crush anyone’s spirit. Diana’s grief is raw and palpable, and at times it seems as though no one, however kind and well-meaning, will possibly be able to help her through. But ultimately there’s hope here — from Greene’s compelling portrayal of Patrick to Diana’s first steps back to something like normality. Sometimes the worst day of your life can take you exactly where you need to be.