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‘Labor Day’

by Kaori Shoji

There’s nothing like an extremely stressful situation to bring people together. Keanu Reeves said something like that in “Speed,” and by the end of the movie he had a relationship in the works with Sandra Bullock. By the sequel, though, they had already broken up. Stressful situations are not always the answer to true romance.

In “Labor Day,” three central characters are burdened with major stress but they hit it off, albeit in strangely twisted ways.

Recently divorced Adele (Kate Winslet) is depressed. Her teenage son Henry (Gattlin Griffith) opts to be a “husband for a day” before realizing he can’t give his mom what she needs. Then Frank (Josh Brolin) drops into their lives. He’s shifty-eyed, bleeding from the gut and insists on being given a ride by Adele and Henry before taking them hostage in their own home.

But Adele begins to eye Frank with fevered longing, while Henry has a blast playing catch with this scary man in the backyard.

Putting a dent in the story’s credibility, the perversion of all this is never discussed. Most likely, calling it Stockholm Syndrome will spoil the romance.