Granted (2012) – By Misty Layne

“With a newly-inked record deal, an impending tour, and a girlfriend who manages to keep his promiscuous behavior at bay, Avery is finally starting to see the result of his talents and the benefits of falling in love. But when Izzy, his muse and love of his life, suffers a fatal health complication, Avery slips into a self-destructive depression that destroys his band and recording contract. Fueled by a desire to honor his girlfriend the only way he knows how but wrought with a two-year creative drought, Avery turns to a mysterious room that promises to make his wishes come true. Against the warning of his friends, Brandon& Wendy, Avery frequents the room oblivious to the further destruction it causes to himself and his friends, even as his own belongings go missing. Brandon attempts to crack the mystery of the room as Avery finally sets out to make things right in his own way. “

GRANTED by director/producer Anthony Vescio takes a long hard look at loss and redemption in a modern day fairy tale that’s a cross between the stories of old of a genie in a bottle granting three wishes and the ever popular deal with the devil at the crossroads (although here the crossroads/bottle would be a mysterious room guarded by a silent gatekeeper). GRANTED works not only because the story is strong and the acting equally so but because it isn’t afraid to let us see the main characters at their worst. The desperation rolling off of our main guy, Avery, is tangible – you seriously just want to give this guy a hug and then maybe a good kick in the shins.

Brian Bernys as Avery gives a phenomenal performance – this Ryan Gosling look alike doesn’t waver from his depression and carries the look of haunted as though it’s a second skin. Never more prominent is this than when he is finally able to write a song again and sings a bluesy tune full of emotion about losing the love of his life. Jacob Albarella as Brandon, Avery’s best friend, turns in a good performance as a man torn between the bonds of friendship and the bonds of holy matrimony. He is concerned, charming and confused about where his loyalties should lie. And Diane Curley as Wendy is strong and able to play the line between concerned wife and neglected wife to a T.

If you’ve ever lost someone special or if you’ve ever just been lost in the throes of despair, GRANTED will hit a chord with you. It’s full of emotional swells leaving one with a lingering high note of vague hope at the very end.

If you’d like to learn more about GRANTED, check out their website for trailers, cast and crew, and more!