Synopsis: Four People. One Horoscope. Infinite Possibilities.
Jake Gibson’s (Cam Gigandet) horoscope forecasts a perfect FIVE STAR DAY the morning of his birthday. Little does he realize that what’s foretold to be a flawless day, unfolds to be far less than stellar when Jake’s world is turned upside down as all that could go wrong…does.
Determined that Astrology has no legitimacy, Jake embarks on a journey to test the theory of Astrology by finding the three people born the same time and place as himself: Sarah Reynolds (Jena Malone), Yvette Montgomery (Brooklyn Sudano) and Wesley Henderson (Max Hartman).
The journey quickly uproots Jake from the small college town of Berkeley, California to downtown Chicago where he sets out to find and interview Sarah, Yvette, and Wesley to see if their birthdays proved to be as disappointing as his own. Jake’s pursuit in finding his three Astrological matches (or Zodiac twins) will not only test his convictions, but validate how life’s unexpected twists of fate can deliver much more than the anticipated.
The unforeseen takes Jake from the Windy City, to the boardwalk of New Jersey’s Atlantic City, to the bustling streets of New York. What Jake learns along the way is an important lesson about life, love, fate, and destiny that will unexpectedly change his life forever.
Release Date: November 4, 2011 MPAA Rating: PG-13
The daily horoscope, it appears in the majority of newspapers, is available as an application on your phone, via your favorite social network, and if you Google the word “horoscope” you will receive over 1,270,000 results. Obviously, horoscopes are a popular topic for the world-at-large; their validity is questionable, and while many may like the idea of a fated existence the preconceived notion that given what day you were born during the year will inevitably decide your personality traits, and what type of person you will be compatible with is a tad ridiculous. For example, an Aquarian woman is most often said to be best suited for a Gemini or Libra male. In order to prove this belief is true one would have to do a scientific study. Such a study, under different circumstances, is performed in Director/Writer Danny Buday’s debut feature film Five Star Day.
Five Star Day begins with a forlorn Jake Gibson’s (Cam Gigandet) image being captured through the glass of a laundromat dryer as astrological signs mapped out in the sky fade in and out over the titles. A voiceover by Jake leads us into the research of astrology he has been performing, and how he concludes it is a “propaganda campaign of bulls**t.” This same phrase is also the title of his as-yet-to-be given Ethics presentation for a college course. Finding out why Jake has such strong opinions on the subject of astrology takes us back to the morning of his birthday, Friday, February 6th when he read that he would have a 5-star day in terms of his career, his love-life, and home-life. Clearly this is not how his day went; Jake was actually laid-off from his job, found his girlfriend cheating on him, had a pipe burst and flood his home, and even had his car stolen. Happy Birthday indeed. In order to prove his theory that astrology is bulls**t he sets off to find the three other people who were born on the same day, in the same place, at roughly the same time (within 5 minutes), as he was–February 6, 1982, 10:30pm in Chicago, Illinois at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Jake wants to know how their birthdays went, and whether the 5-star day did indeed come true, or not for each of them. How he locates them can be attributed to the wealth of knowledge, and lack of privacy, the internet offers.
Over the course of the next two days Jake will travel from Berkeley, California, where he lives, to Chicago, Illinois, Atlantic City, New Jersey, and make a quick stop in New York City as well. His goal is to interview his Zodiac twins, Sarah Reynolds (Jena Malone), Yvette Montgomery (Brooklyn Sudano), and Wesley Henderson (Max Hartman). Structured mainly around the three encounters Jake has with these individuals, Five Star Day becomes less about discovering whether astrology is bogus and more about the connections people make with each other given similar circumstances. The 5-star day study brings them all together, with interesting results as Jake does come across as a bit of a head case at first when he explains why he is approaching them. A completely acceptable way for someone to react, and it lends a lightheartedness to the film that is very much welcome given the more-or-less dramatic, and brutally honest, events that transpired on each of their birthdays. Credit must be given to Buday in managing to find the balance and lend humor to an otherwise heavy amount of suffering and difficulty the characters are all experiencing. Before long as a viewer you almost forget the reason Jake is seeking each individual out and become more engrossed in the bonds he forms in such short periods of time with them. It is a remarkable thing, and lent greatly to the ideal chemistry each actor portrays with one another.
As the stories of each Zodiac twin are told, and the bonds made between each of them with Jake, the story does not simply come to an end with whether they all experienced a less than 5-star day. Jake finds himself drawn to becoming somewhat of a guardian angel for each of them, trying to restore the balance they may have lost in their lives, or give hope of a brighter future. The fate that astrology feeds on is cast aside for pro-activeness of the human spirit. Five Star Day lets go of the procedural element in Jake’s study to make way for sentiment and transgressing past emotional lows to embrace the positives. The film even throws in a touch of sweet romance at the end, placing Jake in the most unlikely of circumstances he could have imagined he would end up before, or after, he read his birthday horoscope.
There is not a great deal of character development in Five Star Day, and the script is not based around Jake changing the person he is by meeting Sarah, Yvette, and Wesley. From the beginning Jake comes across as a very likable, intelligent man, if not a tad over-obsessive with his astrology study. This is not the story of a pessimist who is searching for proof that the world is full of morons who believe in astrology as a means to discover their life plan and purpose–not entirely that is. One may argue Jake is performing as an Aquarian would given the circumstances surrounding his birthday. According to Astrology Online Aquarians “seek truth above all things, they are usually honest enough to change their opinions, however firmly held, if evidence comes to light which persuades them that they have been mistaken.” A point Jake will make in his final Ethics presentation when all is said and done. The performance by Cam Gigandet, who up until now has been mostly known for his role as bad-boy vampire James from The Twilight Series, shows a softer side of the actor. He has shown up in other films such as Priest and more recently Trespass but little has been seen of the more gentile possibilities of his acting. In Five Star Day he is sweet-natured, kind, and self-sacrificing. Gigandet provides a natural presence on screen for such a character as Jake. His smile is genuine, he delivers each and every line like he is speaking with someone he has known his entire life, and not a complete stranger. When he approaches the Zodiac Twins there is a hint of laughter behind his eyes, as even he realizes how ridiculous this must all sound. Gigandet has shown he does have range as an actor, even in a film that plays on mostly one-note, he creates a character you want to continue watching on their journey.
It is imperative as a viewer to like, and get behind, Jake (Cam Gigandet) on his journey because he carries the entire film and appears in nearly every scene. But it is the way Jake meshes with Sarah, Yvette, and Wesley that makes Five Star Day awash with exceptional chemistry between characters. Each experience Jake has with them individually is unique, as are their stories to share. They open up to one another, sharing details you would not otherwise tell a total stranger. But each actor, and in turn character, responds to one another with ease and comfortableness. The subject matter may be difficult at times yet the responses are so authentic there is no reason to not believe these people are connected on a particular cosmic level they are not even aware of.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Danny Buday
- Producer(s): Danny Buday
- Screenwriter(s): Cam Gigandet (Jake Gibson)Jena Malone (Sarah Reynolds)Julianna Guill (Vanessa)
- Story: Mark Boone Junior (Homeless Prophet)
- Cast: Will Yun Lee (Samuel Kim)Chris J. Johnson (Aaron Greenfield)Tad Hilgenbrink (Darren) Brooklyn Sudano (Yvette Montgomery)Max Hartman (Wesley Henderson)Curtis PierceJason OldakMegan Hutchinson
- Cinematographer: Ryan Beveridge
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score:
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USA