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The last of Keanu's teenage characters with pathos
By the time Keanu completed Life Under Water, he was about 25 years old, and had played a number of characters who were alienated, bemused and emotionally-adrift middle-class teenagers. This production, which aims to be literate and sophisticated, much in the vain of "Butterflies are Free", adds a new element to Keanu's familiar teen portrayal, and that element signals the end of Keanu's roles as an innocent in a drama. I enjoyed the energy and wittiness of all the characters, especially the one played by a young Sarah Jessica Parker (Sex in the City), however the moral of this tale, if there is one, is rather obtuse, and the ending leaves me feeling the story is incomplete. The crisis in this film is not as strident as the one in "River's Edge" or "Permanent Record," but this living-room drama feels compelling to watch up until its, for me, unsatisfactory ending.
It's worth giving it a watch if it appears on television--also noting the 25 year old Keanu looks beautiful, and is not as awkward as in the earlier teen films, or the "Ted" films to come. It was originally broadcast on PBS' American Playhouse, and so may be re-broadcast on one of your local PBS stations.
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