April's Shower is a comedy about love, romance and expectation. The story follows unpredictable twists and turns until it climaxes with a madcap finale. The hilarity belies the poignancy of... See full summary »
They finish each other's sentences, dance like Fred and Ginger, and share the same downtown loft--the perfect couple? Not exactly. Gray and Sam, are a sister and brother so compatible and inseparable that people actually assume they are dating. Mortified, they both agree they must branch out and start searching for love. He'll look for a guy for her and she'll look for a gal for him.
Ever have an identity crisis? Tell a little white lie here and there, just to make everyone happy? Well, Alex Houston has got you beat, hands down. After telling her fiancé, Dana, that her ... See full summary »
Allegra, an opera-loving writer in New York, eschews commitment, so her girlfriend, Samantha, leaves her. Allegra misses Sam, and resents the accusation that she's afraid to say "I love you," but she's soon involved with two people - Grace and Philip - who, unbeknownst to her, have just broken up with each other. Allegra juggles the two affairs, telling neither about the other; each likes her more and more as her old fears start making her itchy. Things come to a head at an engagement party where Allegra is pinch-hitting as a catering assistant. Written by
Likable Romantic Triangle Comedy Hamstrung by a Lackluster Lead and Plodding Pacing
Directed and written by Maria Maggenti ("The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love"), this disheveled 2007 romantic triangle comedy has several likable elements, but it never seems to coalesce into something more resonant. The chief problem is that the protagonist, a neurotic, opera-loving lesbian writer appropriately named Allegra, is so perpetually self-absorbed that her dilemma never elicits much sympathy. Elizabeth Reaser is an appealing character actress but frankly not charismatic enough to get away with the commitment-phobic shenanigans that Maggenti throws her way in the acerbic script. The gap causes an odd imbalance with her more intriguing co-stars Justin Kirk and Gretchen Mol. Kirk, who soared as Prior Walter in Mike Nichols' epic 2003 adaptation of Tony Kushner's "Angels in America", harnesses his quirky persona effectively to play Philip, a bored philosophy professor who becomes attracted to Allegra.
In turn, Allegra finds herself drawn to Philip but is still reeling from a break-up with her conflicted girlfriend of nine months. Meanwhile, Mol (refreshingly frank as "The Notorious Bettie Page") seems to be channeling a bit of Meg Ryan's flaky self-righteousness in playing Grace, a pert glass-blower who just broke up with Philip. Grace meets Allegra, and the standard complications ensue. Even with the lesbian angle, which Maggenti handles with aplomb, the indie movie feels more like a throwback to a 1930's screwball farce, especially seen in a hectic party scene where all three principals converge in a most haphazard way. Emotional isolation is a worthy theme to explore, but Maggenti can't make the film snap with the strength of her witty observations. One would have also expected a reference to Puccini, in particular, his tragic opera "Turandot", to be reflected more fully than it does here through the plodding plot structure. The 2007 DVD has an insightful commentary track from Maggenti and editor Susan Graef, as well as a couple of deleted scenes.
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