When Joe Nast (Jake Gyllenhaal) has to bury his fiancée after a random act of violence, he slips into the role of bereaved husband-to-be and son-in-law-to-be, but nurses a secret about his previous relationship with the dead girl. Living with his would-have-been-in-laws (Dustin Hoffman, Susan Sarandon), Joe meets Bertie (Ellen Pompeo), who runs the friendly local bar; her impact on him makes him reconsider just how he really feels about his murdered girlfriend and himself.

Jake Gyllenhaal brings an intelligence and sensitivity to to this role that is endearing.

The year is 1973, and Joe Nast, Jake Gyllenhaal, is in Cape Anne, Massachusets, for the funeral of Diana Floss, the girl he was supposed to marry. A couple of days before the wedding, Diana had been in a diner when a jealous husband tried to kill his wife and killed Diana instead. Joe is still overcome by the change in events, as are Diana\'s parents, Ben, Dustin Hoffman and JoJo, Susan Sarandon. After the wedding, Joe was supposed to partner his father-in-law in a real estate business and, for want of anything better to do, he goes ahead with these plans - and then he meets Bertie, Ellen Pompeo, who is also grieving (her boyfriend is missing in action in Vietnam) - and things begin to change.

Writer-director Brad Silberling, who made the weak Wings Of Desire remake, City Of Angels, has come up with a subtle, sensitive and often funny film about coming to terms with grief. Expertly juggling the moods, the director is very well served by an unusually fine cast - Jake Gyllenhaal\'s rather bemused Joe, Susan Sarandon and Dustin Hoffman as the parents of the dead girl. There are echoes here of Hoffman\'s first starring role, The Graduate, in which he also played a character called Ben.

An elegantly made tragi-comedy, Moonlight Mile is a shade long, but it\'s a gentle reminder that, after a loss, the survivors have to pick up the pieces and keep going.