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Jamie is 21. She's from Atlanta. She's come to Brooklyn to visit her friend Samantha, but she can't find her. Jamie tries calling, but Samantha's phone is dead. Jamie meets Charlie when she asks him for directions. Nothing to do and nothing but time leads them to bowls of coleslaw, footraces in the park, art shows, and after parties. Written by
I might not be an aficionado of the "mumblecore"-genre, and this film didn't make me one either. But it did give me a minor crush on the female lead (and writer) Erin Fisher, maybe that's a good thing.
So in this film we see a cute girl from Atlanta (Erin Fisher) who visits New York, can't get hold of her friend, and then instead hangs out over 24 hours with a random slacker (Cris Lankenau) she meets at the subway station in Brooklyn.
It's cute, and you do get to feel that the boy and girl are connecting over an intense period, but it didn't really made an impression on me. Maybe it wasn't dramatic enough, maybe the realism bored me, maybe the long shots were a bit too long, or maybe it was the "American" dialogue.
What I mean by that is that they use all of these "pause words" a lot. I even spent a few minutes counting them (by opening the subtitles in Word): "like" (229 times), "you know" (28 times), "kind of" (39 times), "sort of" (22 times), "uh" or "um" (43 times), "I don't know" (22 times) and "really" (55 times).
It isn't that much dialogue in the movie, so that is a LOT of pause words, all of which are basically unnecessary for saying something. (Sarah Hellman's two-minute random monologue might have accounted for half of the "like"-quota, for instance. How ditzy is it possible to come across as?)
Even if this is how Americans actually talk, for us europeans it sounds like they have no vocabulary and are very slow thinkers who need to insert a lot of "pause words" just to get through a sentence.
"Mumblecore" might be supposed to be ultra realistic, but I am pretty sure it could benefit such movies to tighten up the script, thereby making it more interesting and transcend boring reality just a little bit.
Finally I have to make the obligatory reference to "Before Sunrise" and say that it's unfortunately much more interesting, substantial and memorable than "Quiet City", even if the two movies are a bit different in style and shape.
I realise this review will blow all my chances of ever getting to flirt with Erin Fisher (and Sarah Hellman), but it's mostly meant as a warning for people who are interested in "real" movies, and also as a message to the director Aaron Katz.
A movie like this would have been much more interesting if the dialogue was better and more meaningful, and if it just had more of a "real" movie-feel about it. Right now it seems like something anyone could improvise over two days. And that's unfortunately not a compliment.
But of course I would rather have a thousand indie-movies like these instead of the usual predictable Hollywood-crap. I only wish they could be better than this.
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