Heartland brings many amazing films all to one place. There are so ¬†many touching stories, moving documentaries, and beautiful narratives ¬†that stay fresh in the mind of any viewer. Thinking back on my time at ¬†Heartland this year, there isn‚Äôt a single film I saw, even the ¬†less-than-good ones, that didn‚Äôt leave an impression. There‚Äôs a reason ¬†audience ballots are scored from ‚Äúfair‚ÄĚ to ‚Äúexcellent,‚ÄĚ because really, ¬†there aren‚Äôt too many bad films at Heartland. At the very least, bad but ¬†ambitious films still leave an impact on a viewer, especially one ¬†that‚Äôs not used to viewing actual, artistically minded films.
However, that‚Äôs all aside from Room for Rent, a film that‚Äôs ¬†creating a vacancy in my mind for things that are interesting, funny, ¬†compelling, or actually good. Okay, that‚Äôs a bit harsh, but of all the ¬†films at Heartland, this isn‚Äôt one to remember.
The story follows ex-lottery winner Mitch Baldwin, now broke, sad, ¬†lonely, and entitled, as he concocts a plan to allow his family to keep ¬†paying for their forever home. His genius plan is to rent out the ¬†storage room to a stranger and have them pay the remainder of what they ¬†need. His parents are skeptical until the stranger of choice, Carl, ¬†shows up on a dark, stormy night. Carl proceeds to worm his way into the ¬†family and slowly attempt to replace Mitch in the family unit, leading ¬†Mitch to grow suspicious of this stranger who appeared from nowhere. ¬†Combined with a car without license plates, general shady behavior, and ¬†an actual death threat, Mitch calls on the few friends he still has to ¬†help solve the my