The intricate, and sometimes confining, systems we create for coping with loss are detailed in this stirring new drama written and directed by Brad Silberling. It features rising star Jake Gyllenhaal as Joe Nast, a young man whose fiancée is killed in a random act of violence. Its 1973 in the victims tiny Massachusetts hometown, and Joe has moved in with his late lovers parents. Dustin Hoffman and Susan Sarandon, both calling on oodles of acting experience, subtly depict the grieving parents. Complications arise when Joe, after sorting through his feelings of grief and guilt, finds himself growing attracted to spunky postal worker Bertie Knox (newcomer Ellen Pompeo), who has been waiting a few years too long for her MIA boyfriend to return from Vietnam. Silberlings film is not perfect; it verges at times on the mawkish. But it sincerely attempts to explore issues of loss and renewal. The movies sentimentality does not dilute its hopefulness.