"Those of us who are struggling with questions of love and commitment today are pioneers in a territory that has never before been consciously explored. It is important to realize just how new this situation is, so we do not blame ourselves for the difficulties we face in our relationships.
"In former times, if people wanted to explore the deeper mysteries of life, they would often enter a monastery or hermitage far away from conventional family ties. For many of us today, however, intimate relationship has become the new wilderness that brings us face to face with all our gods and demons.
"It is calling on us to free ourselves from old habits and blind spots, and to develop the full range of our powers, sensitivities, and depths as human beings — right in the middle of everyday life."
— John Welwood in Toward a Psychology of Awakening
The complete sharing of body, mind, and soul with another human being is the spiritual challenge of marriage. Husband and wife must become adept at weathering storms of lust and paying close attention to the desires and wishes of their mate. When these tasks are ignored, there is usually trouble on the horizon.
Tim (Jake Johnson) and Lee (Rosemarie DeWitt) are married but they are stuck in a rut of squabbling and criticizing each other. While they are staying at a client's beautiful home with their young son, Tim finds a bone and a revolver. Lee orders him to put the two items back and to stop digging. She is worried that it will upset the owner.
In anger, Lee decides to visit her mother and give herself some time off from their marriage. She hopes that he will do the taxes but is quite sure that he won't while she's gone.
As soon as his wife steps out the door, Tim invites his buddies over and a few of them join him on the dig. They begin drinking and then dance. Max (Brie Larson) takes a fancy to Tim and he is tempted.
Meanwhile, Lee visits with her mother (Judith Light) and stepdad (Sam Elliot) before stepping out on her own. She meets Ben (Orlando Bloom) and attends to a cut he gets on his eyebrow. The beach is a perfect setting for romance but Lee decides to return home.
Digging for Fire is another fine story about intimate relationships by Joe Swanberg. Both Tim and Lee wander in the wilderness, coming face-to-face with their gods and demons. They square off against old habits and blind spots before reuniting in each other's arms. Rosemarie DeWitt and Jake Johnson prove equal to the task of showing how they keep their marital intimacy intact.