6.5/10
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Ten Tiny Love Stories (2002)

R | | Drama | 10 August 2002 (Japan)
Ten women give monologues to camera, each remembering a man who was important in their lives.

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Cast

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Five (as Kimberly Williams)
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Seven (as Deborah Unger)
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Storyline

One at a time, each by herself, ten women speak directly into the camera and talk about themselves. Talking about a relationship with a man - sometimes a long-term one and more often a brief one - triggers remembrances of a parent lost, of a pet, of childhood. The first woman talks about running into a true love several years later, the second describes her loss of virginity, the third recounts a discomforting blind date; only one woman has experienced a long-term marriage. Dreams figure into several stories. Some ask "Is there only one great love?" "Where am I when I'm in a relationship - even one that ends in a night?," is a question others raise. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexual dialogue
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10 August 2002 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Women Remember Men  »

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2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Ten "Tinny" Love Stories more like
5 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I gave this 5 stars for the five monologues that I did enjoy the most. There are two or three really good performances in this, particularly Lisa Gay Hamilton, Kathy Baker, and Rhada Mitchell in a too-short piece that leads off. The rest are either adequate (Kimberley Williams, Alicia Witt and Rebecca Tilney), or less-than-adequate, and a few just plain bad like Deborah Unger (tremulous and melodramatic). A real clunker for me was the morbid, over-the-top, deadly dull story from Elizabeth Pena's monologue which is also way too long, on top of which she doesn't do it well at all.

Hamilton's monologue is probably the best-written of the ten, the finest balanced including deep humiliation with a willingness to confide this without resorting to bathos. Most I found merely self-conscious and stagy with a tinny theatricality that made the person speaking sound so forced and unconnected to reality that I lost contact. This happened especially in Pena's long, drab monologue about a distinctly unhappy marriage. Why Garcia felt the need to stretch this one out like he did I have no idea, but I finally fast-forwarded (turns out I was two seconds from the end of it anyway) and got to Baker's which restored some freshness and balance and gave a better ending to the proceedings (it's wonderful to see an actor with the skill and confidence of Baker simply step into the role and wear it instantly with a minimum of fuss and affectation (certainly one of Ms. Unger's problems)). I don't know if Garcia has a problem with marriage, relationships, or women, but he has an axe to grind somewhere. He has done other ensemble pieces with some of the same women. It seems to be his specialty. While I am a man, I am one who enjoys a good chick flick (Muriel's Wedding, for instance), and I'm not saying that I didn't enjoy Ten Tiny Love Stories. I did, but it was definitely uneven and weighted to the negative side in overall quality.

I think the women were given a bit too much freedom in their interpretations so that some of the less-skilled among them, like Unger, struggled to find the pitch. She just keeps coming apart at the seams during hers leaving herself nowhere to go to modulate her performance. Depending upon the length of the piece, Unger seemed to run out of space and yet sounded so constantly on the brink of disaster emotionally, that it began to sound like a pitiful whine long before it was over. And finally, I felt that some of these monologues were not true in the sense that they had a phony feel to them. They sounded like they were supposed to be candid but they came off stilted. For the three of four good pieces, it's certainly worth the effort.


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