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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Davy Mitchell (Brian Geraghty) is on the road doing readings at small
book stores (one of them is named just "Books") of his short stories
collection. Tagging along is his younger brother, Sean (Kel O'Neill),
who has no problem picking up on Davy's leftovers whether it be pie or
the girls he doesn't close the deal with, despite the girlfriend he has
back home. One night in a motel room alone though, the phone rings and
a sexy voice on the other end coaxes Davy (none too hard) into phone
sex, presented in one extended shot. With no means to call back this
Nicole on her private number, Davy is forced into a waiting game.
Surprisingly though she calls back. And often. Intimate nights become
intimacy as the pair open up to one another; Nicole (phone-cheating on
her own boyfriend) is happy just to have a guy who listens. As Davy
gets closer to home though the more he wants the other senses to
manifest in their relationship, starting with just seeing each other.
But Nicole prefers things the way they are. What's a guy to do? Brian
Geraghty is a face you may remember seeing in films like Jarhead, We
Are Marshall and hopefully will in Kathryn Bigelow's excellent Iraq war
thriller, The Hurt Locker. As Davy though, Geraghty really breaks
through with a quietly, heartbreaking portrayal of a shy guy unsure of
the direction his life is supposed to be taking. With little success as
a writer and only a few ladies under his stud belt, it's easy to accept
Nicole as that once-in-a-lifetime gift so we feel his anguish in not
being able to at least get that hug we know he needs.
'Easier With Practice' is a wonderful little film written and directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez, based on a GQ article by Davy Rothbart. Brian Geraghty plays Davy Mitchell, a writer who works as a temp to pay the bills. Davy and his brother Sean (Kel O'Neill) set out on a book tour across the country together in Sean's old POS station wagon to promote Davy's book. During their journey from town to town, Sean spends his free time in the bars and picking up chicks while Davy, exhausted from the weeks of traveling and living off of PB&J sandwiches, spends most of his free time in hotel rooms, bored and lonely.
Kyle Patrick Alvarez is said to be quite the indie music enthusiast and it shows, having meticulously selected and placed an absolutely perfect soundtrack into his film. The songs were carefully chosen and used not just to fill silent space, but to accentuate a scene or emotion and further move the story along in a constructive fashion. The soundtrack to 'Easier With Practice' reads like a pop fans worst nightmare, featuring indie musicians and bands unknown to many like Emily Easterly, Source Victoria, Deer Tick and Grizzly Bear, not to mention the other 10 or more bands with licenced music featured on the theatrical playlist.
This is a film definitely worth seeing. It's smart, just funny enough as not to get in the way of the great story and the twist at the end packs a punch.