Working at the local paper in Grand Rock, a very small town, Leonard Crane (Ennis Esmer) couldn’t be happier. Things start falling apart when his boss announces that they’ll have to shut the paper down due to poor readership and some advertisers backing out. Leonard desperately wants to save the paper, so he begins making up stories based on old films he rents at the local video store. Things are going smoothly until he writes a story about secret cloning experiments that has the town in an uproar. Lucy (Meredith MacNeill), a reporter from a much larger paper, comes to town to talk to Leonard about his story, finding out that he’s been making things up, but when it starts to look like his fake story may be true, Lucy convinces Leonard to help her crack it open and save his reputation, along with the paper.

Director Daniel Perlmutter brings small town life to the big screen with his latest feature, Big News from Grand Rock. A bit of a throwback to all those old 80s comedies that feature characters getting into wacky, yet rather believable situations, the film is the perfect comedy to bring the entire family out to see. The combination of a great script, also from Perlmutter, and outstanding performances from Ennis Esmer and Meredith MacNeill, delivers laughs from start to finish.

Esmer and MacNeill are a great on-screen combo, perfectly timing their lines together and pulling even more comedy from the script. They’re just the icing on the cake though, as every role is played to perfection including many familiar faces like Peter Keleghan, Gordon Pinsent, Art Hindle, and Aaron Ashmore in the brief but hilarious role of a video store clerk. Beyond the comedy of the film, there’s also a very heartwarming story of small town life and dedication to the things you love. Leonard loves his work at the local paper and will do anything to save it, which immediately gets him in trouble.

As he starts to come up with fake stories, he bases them all on movies he gets from the video store, and every one is memorable older film. He starts with Larger than Life, which starred Bill Murray, before moving onto films like Overboard and Multiplicity, which is the point where his fake stories get out of hand. A story of secret cloning experiments in the town sells newspapers, but it also brings Lucy on the scene. Watching Leonard try to continuously cover up his lies with more lies is hilarious, and Esmer plays it with the right amount of confidence and confusion. As outrageous as things get, the ending brings things back down to Earth, while still maintaining a level of silliness that keeps the laughs going.