Our friend John Townley has posted a review of the film Five Star Day which was released in 2011 but comes out on DVD next month:
The premise is simple: protagonist Jake Gibson (Cam Gigandet, Christina Aguilera’s love interest in Burlesque) reads his newspaper Sun-sign horoscope which tells him he’s going to have a wonderful birthday – love, money, career outlooks all superb – and then proceeds to have the most disastrous day of his young life on all three fronts. Confusing destiny and predetermination, and infuriated that he has been somehow deceived by the ancient art itself, he sets out to debunk astrology utilizing a project for his college ethics class. His method: to find several other people born at exactly the same time and place as he (February 6, 1982, at 10:32 PM in Chicago), who presumably would have had totally different birthday experiences than he, thus somehow disproving astrology. Not exactly an airtight experiment, but perhaps enough speculative fodder for an ethics class.
But his presumptions are soon dashed asunder, for as he travels cross-country to meet three others whose identical birthdays he wants to hear about, he discovers that two also had life-alteringly dreadful days, and later finds the third’s was even worse. He is treated to it in-depth with his first contact and subsequent love interest Sarah (Jena Malone, of Pride and Prejudice, Sucker Punch, lots more), and the rest follow suit. It’s an unexpected conundrum. Does this mean astrology is for real? Is there no free will in this world? Well, of course there is, as he discovers from getting creatively entangled with the troubled lives of all three. With a little help from Jake, everyone manages to make lemonade out of their birthday lemons, with engagingly suitable episodes of drama, love, and comedy along the way. Ill begun may be half-done, but the other half is up to you, as they all discover, ultimately earning Jake a good grade (we hope) in his ethics report.
The idea that the protagonist had a bad day on his birthday caught my attention, because my birthdays are typically not so great either, something I attribute to the fact that my Sun is flanked by Saturn and Neptune and squared by Uranus, a pretty stressful planetary combination. On (or near) your birthday the Sun returns to its place in the chart and illuminates your natal solar position. If your native solar position is challenging, your Solar Return will call your attention to ways in which your solar experience needs to be improved.
The chart given in the film, February 6, 1982 at 10:32 pm in Chicago, shows a nearly exact Sun/Chiron square so the solar return chart would illuminate the painful wounds of that planetary position. Chris Brennan’s interview posts the chart of director Danny Buday which curiously does not have a solar aspect. In fact, Buday’s chart shows a singleton Sun – it makes no aspects to any other planets. I’m not sure there is any relevance of that to the discussion of the film, but I found it interesting nonetheless.
In any case, it sounds like this film is one of the first to treat the subject of astrology with any respect and will probably be worth seeing.
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