Jim Gaffigan Shines Brightly in Heartfelt Dramedy with Powerful Ending



The new film Linoleum shows fans a different side of comedian Jim Gaffigan, who gets to delve into his more dramatic acting alongside Better Call Saul star Rhea Seehorn. Written and directed by Colin West, Linoleum recently held its world premiere at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival. Featuring a very unique story that manages to both entertain while pulling at the heartstrings, the film shines as one of the best movies of the festival, thanks in large part to its cast making the intriguing story work so well.

In Linoleum, Gaffigan plays Cameron Edwin, a fairly famous man who hosts a Bill Nye-style educational TV series for kids, but it hasn’t been doing so well. Living in a suburban Ohio home with his family, which includes wife Erin (Rhea Seehorn, Better Call Saul) and daughter Nora (Katelyn Nacon, The Walking Dead), Cameron clearly hopes to turn a corner with his show going down the tubes. But deep in his core, Cameron has always wanted more than anything else to become an astronaut, helping to spark his lifetime love of science.

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Cameron feels aimless as his marriage and career are both in turmoil, but one day, his life completely changes when a car crash lands on the ground near him – seemingly straight from the sky. What’s more perplexing is just how much the man who was in the car looks like Cameron, to the point where they could be twins. That same man turns out to be Cameron’s new replacement on his science program, making matters worse. The TV star is still trying to make sense of the situation when a rocket inexplicably falls from the sky into their backyard, sparking a series of events wherein Cameron finds a new purpose, inspired to rebuild the rocket as a way of reaching the sky after all.

Linoleum Has a Powerful Ending Viewers Won’t See Coming

Meanwhile, Nora finds herself spending more time with the new neighbor boy, Marc (Gabriel Rush). Marc just so happens to be the son of Cameron’s nemesis, and he is none too approving of the pair seeing each other. Though they aren’t quite sure if their new bond is romantic in nature, the two outcasts find acceptance in one another, especially after finding they have a lot more in common than just their shared birthday.

All throughout the story, there are subtle clues about what’s to be revealed later in the story. To say anything more would spoil the experience, but Linoleum is certainly a movie that rewards the viewers for paying attention. Noticing every subtle detail in the film is not required, though they all contribute to making the story’s conclusion a much richer experience. Everything in Linoleum happens for a reason, and it’s clear early on that the story is building up to something, though we’re only given enough hints to keep us guessing. Along with Gaffigan’s Cameron, none of what’s happening is all that clear until the very end.

It’s always a big risk for filmmakers to tell these kinds of stories. Keeping viewers compelled with an intriguing mystery that ultimately unfolds at the film’s conclusion can be compared to building a house of cards, liable to collapse completely if left with an ending that’s unsatisfying. Linoleum goes in the opposite direction, delivering a conclusion to its story that enriches the whole experience based on the journey to get there. It’s an emotional and powerful ending that sticks with you long after the credits roll, wrapping up the story and tying all of the storylines together in a touching, poignant way that most viewers won’t see coming.

Related: Jim Gaffigan Is Mr. Smee in Peter Pan & Wendy Disney+ Live-Action Movie

Linoleum’s Cast Shines Brightly

Jim Gaffigan is one of the great stand-up comedians of our time, and the actor has long been synonymous with comedy. Though there are some comedic moments in Linoleum, the film can better be described as a dramedy that leans a little heavier on the dramatic side. It wasn’t a comedian that was needed for this role, but writer-director Colin West clearly saw the potential in Gaffigan making it work. He was right, as Gaffigan brings a certain charm with him to the character, playing the role believably with the viewers feeling the character’s emotions with him. Simultaneously, the actor puts in an entirely different but just as convincing performance as the very unlikable Kent Armstrong, Cameron’s nemesis.

As she has shown with her acclaim as fan favorite Kim Wexler on the AMC drama series Better Call Saul, Rhea Seehorn is someone who always manages to impress, and that’s no different with Linoleum. Through their interactions, you really get the sense that Cameron and Erin care about each other, while also conveying the couple’s difficulties as well. The supporting characters manage to contribute greatly with their respective roles, including Michael Ian Black and Tony Shalhoub as a TV exec and psychiatrist, respectively. Roger Hendricks Simon also puts in vital work in the film as Mac, Cameron’s ill father who wants to help with his son’s rocket ship plans.

Linoleum, which comes from Storm City Films, premiered at SXSW on March 12 but does not yet have a wide release date. Written and directed by Colin West, the film is produced by Chad Simpson, Dennis Masel, and Chadd Harbold. It stars Jim Gaffigan, Rhea Seehorn, Katelyn Nacon, Gabriel Rush, Amy Hargreaves, West Duchovny, Michael Ian Black, Tony Shalhoub, Elisabeth Henry, and Roger Hendricks Simon.

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Jeremy Dick
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Jeremy Dick has been a writer and editor since 2014. He is a self-professed horror expert, pop culture enthusiast, and Bob Saget fanatic.

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