Director Danny Leiner (Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle; Dude, Where's My Car?) makes a flawless transition from broad comedy to intricate drama with The Great New Wonderful. He links five separate stories not by physical connection but by New York City's omnipresent, but never mentioned, tragedy. Poignant and compelling, the characters weave together across the five boroughs, from Queens to Ellis Island, in moving portraits reflective of individuals living in a recovering city. An insolated man has a catastrophic experience at the office. Through counseling, his psychologist slowly uncovers the man's internalized grief. A boutique pastry chef's goal, to take over her rival's business, results in an introspective revelation. A young couple with a difficult 10-year-old son must confront their strained marriage. Two bodyguards of a diplomat, immigrants and best friends, gradually come to a crossroads of conflicting views. A long-lost childhood friend sparks a surprising change in the life of a senior citizen living a monotonous routine. The storylines never really cross each other, but each carries an emotional resonance that interlocks more than the streets and avenues of New York. With beauty and complexity The Great New Wonderful describes the subtleties of closure. Leiner moves the film at an intimate pace, alternating between storylines gracefully and uses the natural talents of the cast to the fullest. The incredible ensemble cast quietly and elegantly portrays people in transition-embarking on their own great new wonderfuls.
Danny Leiner has worked extensively as a director in both film and television. He directed the New Line comedy, Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle and Dude, Where's My Car? starring Ashton Kutcher. His many television credits include Arrested Development, Everwood, Gilmore Girls, Freaks and Geeks, Sports Night, Felicity, and HBO's Mind of the Married Man. Leiner wrote and directed the award-winning short film, Time Expired, the feature film Layin' Low, and directed the HBO drama Flashback. In 2002, he founded Sly Dog Films with producing partner, Matt Tauber.