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Robert Capelli Jr.,
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Charlie takes an odyssey through grief during a fall weekend in New York City. His encounters are planned and chance: with a homeless man who sleeps by his building, with a friend who's dying, with the couple who lives (and noisily loves) in the flat above him, with a bartender and a one-night-stand he follows home, and with a tattooed stranger whom he seeks out and befriends. Along the way, Charlie inhabits a city full of moments of violence and of stories and legends: a kidney thief, a microwaved poodle, a rat in a hot dog bun, a baby left on a car top, a tourist's toothbrush, needles in public-phone change slots. Charlie lives and tells his own stories. What caused his melancholy? Written by
Finally! A gay-themed movie with some depth! It is REALLY refreshing to see a movie about gay men that goes beyond their sexual orientation. It seems that most gay-themed movies in recent years are just about teenagers coming out to their parents. Although some of these films have been good ("Edge of Seventeen" for example), it is very nice to see a movie where the main character's sexuality is not the focal point of the film. While homosexuality plays a substantial role in what "Urbania" is about, it is not the centerpiece of the story. This film actually has a hauntingly resonant story, well-written and memorable characters, a terrific ensemble cast, and brilliant direction by Jon Shear in a directorial debut.
I really loved how this film was directed in a non-linear fashion. You only gradually learn why the main character, Charlie, (Dan Futterman in a great performance) is so troubled. The climax of the film and the resolution are both heart-stopping and cathartic. And there are many great scenes that lead up to this finale that are alternately hilarious and emotionally moving.
One of the best of the year 2000. I think I will see it again.
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