A: When you can't relate to it at all unless you've been through the situations that the characters have been in personally.
I guess I'm used to movies working on both levels... for those who have prior experience and those who don't. Moonlight Mile does not give the dead daughter (no spoiler there, she's dead from the start) any face save the reflections of grief that drag on for seven reels.
This coupled with some machinations of screenplay tinkering (the main character's Big SecretTM) left me detached from much that was going on during the film. The nostalgic trip it tried to take through songs telling the story was too faux-Cameron Crowe for me. Almost Famous set the latest bar on that one, jack.
I'm glad the director made the movie he wanted to make. I'm glad it is finding an audience (albeit a small one). I'm glad for the performances, which make the affair much more engaging on that deep level than it probably would have been otherwise.
Glad or not, this score is a reverse of my Eight Legged Freaks score. If you are going to make a film that is to engage people, you have should at least attempt to write it so that it can draw in those who have not been in the situations previously! In The Bedroom took a different tack, and while it isn't in the same genre, it dealt with loss and did in such a way that drew you in. Moonlight Mile keeps you out.
In The Bedroom was nominated for Best Picture. My guess is that Moonlight Mile will not be so honored. It will be cherished by a few. That is the fate of some movies I suppose... comedy or drama.