As provocative as the title is—and they do make fun of it in the special features—Ten Inch Hero actually refers to a sub shop in Santa Cruz, California. The story revolves around the staff of Beach City Grill. Tucker (John Doe), the owner, is a peace-loving hippie father figure with a thing for Zo (Alice Krige), the Wiccan who works at the crystal shop across the street. Jen (Clea DuVall) is a sensitive, but insecure young woman who’s had a year-long, online relationship with the mysterious Fuzzzy_22 and is considering a face-to-face meeting. Gorgeous Tish (Danneel Harris, rumored true-life love of Jensen) knows how to work her looks and manipulate men by saying she’s never had the big O, but her relationships are as shallow as the way most men view her. Priestly (Jensen Ackles) is the wisecrack cook with some serious bod mod and slogan t-shirts who just wants someone to look beyond his edgy exterior. And Piper (Elisabeth Harnois) is the newbie, an artist who arrived in town looking for the daughter she gave up for adoption when she was fifteen. Together they’re a loyal, dysfunctional and loving family, despite the fact that all of them are something other than what they seem.
I admit the only reason I wanted to see this indie was because of Jensen. I’d heard reviews were positive, but I never expected to fall in love with the film the way I did. Funny and heart-warming, without being overly cheesy, the simplistic story is one of not judging a book by its cover and finding courage to bust the shackles we bind our own selves in.
Betsy Morris’ script is sharp, snappy, sentimental and sexy. The interchanges between the cast are not only believable, but memorable. You’ll laugh, cry, scream, and sigh. If I were to change anything it would be this: Tish’s character, despite a very likeable performance by Danneel, isn’t developed well enough to explain why a guy would want her beyond her stunning physicality. Also, her sex scenes could’ve been a little more suggestive instead of blatantly gratuitous, which depletes the audience who might otherwise see the film (a bummer as far as getting Jensen more exposure). Also, Priestly gets brave but changes his “wrapping paper” when I wish he wouldn’t have and Jen never does get her cowardly lion to woman up. Nitpicks aside, this little romcom is going in my keeper cabinet and I think you’ll find it charms your heart too.
This movie is available to rent at your local Blockbuster, and for sale here.
Also, for your enjoyment, Priestly’s collection of shirt slogans:
Tip Me or Die
Cat. The Other White Meat.
It’s Tourist Season, Shoot Them At Will
You Know Your Problem? You’re Stupid.
Orgasm Donor. Ask For Your Free Sample.
Save a Tree. Eat a Beaver.
I Sell Crack for the CIA.
No One Knows I’m A Lesbian
You Can Read
The HYSTERICAL Tampon Scene w/ Jensen: