A sexy romantic drama in which, at the outset, the characters are leading their own lives in very different worlds, though each is beset by niggling discontentment. Michelle (Renée Weldon -...
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A sexy romantic drama in which, at the outset, the characters are leading their own lives in very different worlds, though each is beset by niggling discontentment. Michelle (Renée Weldon - IFTA Best Actress) is a fast-rising young Dublin lawyer with a smart apartment overlooking the Liffey, but dissatisfied in her relationship with a doctor (Declan Conlon). Conor (Aidan Gillen) is lonely and unattached, dutifully running the traditional Dublin pub owned by his hard drinking father (Eamon Morrissey). Late one night, Michelle bursts into the bar and orders a triple vodka. The consequences are explored and developed with an honesty and credibility as these disparate characters tentatively draw closer to each other. They become lovers. There is a strong sexual attraction. But there are complications along the way and the path to love can be rocky. Something's got to give. And what's the trouble with sex? You'll see... Written by
[CONOR walks back into the main room where MICHELLE is sitting on the couch. There are two whiskies on the table in front of her]
I see you've been to New York.
Yeah, have you?
No, I nearly went.
You should go, it's a cool place.
I should have done a lot of things.
Oh, like what?
Oh you know things.
[MICHELLE smiles. CONOR points to a scar MICHELLE has between her eyebrows]
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It is difficult to express the anger I felt leaving the cinema after this film. Surely a simple script review would have revealed that the characters were non-existent, the dialogue banal and the film itself profoundly pointless. At one stage in the film one character accuses the other of replacing intimacy with sex. Is this (rather unoriginal) point the issue the film is trying to explore? If so it manages to contribute exactly nothing to our understanding of it. It seems to be straining towards the sort of European art house film which examines the nature of relationships in modern society. Yet it fails to create real characters or to engage meaningfully with its subject matter. Issues are briefly alluded to, such as one of the main character's previous failed relationship, and then dropped, without adding anything to our understanding of that character. Indeed the characters themselves seem nothing more than a collection of lines spoken, with nothing substantial or sustained at their core. At points in the film they do such things as unexplainedly walking out of a room during foreplay and not returning, seemingly because this is the kind of thing that characters do in the sort of film that this is desperately striving to be.
The list of things which annoyed me about this film are too long to fully elaborate on. However I feel special mention should be given to a scene where the female lead gives a rendition from start to finish of Crowded House's 'Fall at Your Feet'. Whilst the performance itself is perfectly pleasant, the scene contributes nothing to the films development and would have been cut by a director with a clearer idea of how to construct a film. It is emblematic of the films wider problem
it has neither the tightly constructed narrative necessary to qualify
as a conventional romantic drama, nor the required level of intelligence or insight which would justify its ponderous depiction of the central relationship. Like this karaoke moment, it is indulgent, empty, and ultimately a waste of screen time.
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