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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
Charlie (Dan Futterman) wanders around NYC one night looking for another man who (might) have something he is looking for.
That's all I'm going to say about this--you have to see the film to understand it. The film starts off slow (and surreal) but quickly draws you in with fast, incredible images and a plot that becomes clearer as the movie goes on. Dan Futterman is just superb in his role...this had to have been a difficult part to play but he pulls it off. Actually no one is bad but Matt Keeslar (as his lover Chris) and Samuel Bell (as Dean) deserve special mention.
This film is not for everybody. It challenges you and makes you think (how many films nowadays do that?) and is very dark, disturbing and depressing. It also demands multiple viewings (I had to see it twice to actually understand it). Also there is some violence that is jarring. But, at the end, I was in tears--I've seen this movie at least seven times and I STILL cry at the ending. It's actually a happy ending (sort of) but really hits hard.
Basically this film deals with love, loss and coming to terms with it. Also there are urban legends played out during the film--they DO fit in. It deals with gay relationships primarily and there's plenty of kissing and flashes of nudity. Easily one of the best films of 2000 and it's in my list as one of the ten top films ever made. Just great--I highly recommend this.
Try to see it on DVD--the commentary and extras really explain the story and themes more.
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