In Bodies, Rest & Motion , four characters in their 20s are struggling with the contradictory desires for roots and wings. The title of this jaunty film directed by Michael Steinberg refers to Newton's Law of Motion which says that a body at rest or in motion will remain that way unless acted upon by an outside force.
Trouble is these young people just don't know what they want. And they're waiting around for something or someone to animate them into decisive action.
Nick and Beth are living together in Engfield, Arizona. He works as a TV salesman at a mall appliance store and she's a waitress. Their best friend Carol is Nick's former lover. She likes them both but doesn't have a clue what she really wants either.
When Nick decides to move to Butte, Montana, Beth is ready to go with him. After all, men have always determined the lineaments of her life. But Nick pulls a fast one and leaves without her.
Sid, a housepainter who is readying their apartment place for the next tenants, falls in love with Beth. He's lived all his life in Engfield and has no desire to go anywhere else. He agrees with his father who told him, "If you stay in one place, your luck knows where to find you."
On the road, Nick stops by his parents' house in hopes of seeing them and meets instead a deaf old man and his granddaughter. Overcome by feelings, he returns to Engfield after a brush with death on the highway.
Beth, meanwhile, has decided to test her wings. As she tells Sid of their lovemaking, "It's passionate, it's comfortable but it's not important. You're just the last."
Roger Hedden's screenplay for Bodies, Rest & Motion is studded with insights into the wayward and wacky ennui of these characters. Like "Singles," it offers a peep into the peculiar relationship difficulties of this generation. The charm and quirkiness of the performances by the ensemble cast, which includes Tim Roth, Bridget Fonda, Phoebe Cates and Eric Stoltz, make the film especially appealing.