Diggers combines humor and pathos in a bittersweet story about a tightly-knit cluster of friends, all of whom are forced to embrace change as their small-town way of life is soon to be altered forever.
It’s September 1976 on the south shore of Long Island. Ads on the TV in the local bar announce “a change coming over America” with the upcoming Ford-Carter presidential election, but local clam diggers are more worried about losing their already-fragile trade to an encroaching corporation.
Like his father and grandfather before him, Hunt (Paul Rudd) is a digger, but one with a restless, imaginative side exemplified by the black-and-white Polaroids he takes. Hunt’s lifelong buddies and fellow diggers include Frankie Lozo (Ken Marino), a brash father struggling to support five kids and his longsuffering but spunky wife, Julie (Sarah Paulson); laid-back local ladies’ man Jack (Ron Eldard); and philosophy-spouting pot dealer Cons (Josh Hamilton).
A sudden death propels the four best friends to look at their lives, as it does for Hunt’s recently-divorced (and “Hite Report”-reading) older sister, Gina (Maura Tierney), who works as a waitress at the local diner. Meanwhile, Hunt falls for a hip young woman visiting from Manhattan, Zoe (Lauren Ambrose), who wonders why his artistic impulses don’t propel him out of a dead-end town.
This rich slice-of-life from America’s not-too-distant past recalls such ‘70s character-driven staples as Diner, The Last Picture Show and Breaking Away. Diggers boasts a knock-out ensemble cast, the emotional sensitivity and outrageous comedy of a screenplay by Ken Marino (writer/producer on David Wain’s forthcoming The Ten, and co-creator of the legendary MTV show The State) and A Good Baby director Katherine Dieckmann’s keen sense of period verisimilitude and heartfelt blend of drama and humor. –Magnolia Films