An L.A. artist suddenly finds his life upside down when his art show is canceled and his model girlfriend leaves him.An L.A. artist suddenly finds his life upside down when his art show is canceled and his model girlfriend leaves him.An L.A. artist suddenly finds his life upside down when his art show is canceled and his model girlfriend leaves him.
Here they'll find Ruffalo at his best acting qualities; with the show all for himself, the camera right on his head, the simplicity in all its extension An actor like Ruffalo looks for movies like this one, about frustrated artists and lonely human beings. This was four years before "Just like heaven", but his character also has a breakdown here, and stays in bed watching television and eating ice-cream.
Other than Ruffalo's fantastic character driven performance as Alex, there's nothing much interesting inside this picture. Directed by a now disappeared (did nothing after this) Dan Bootzin, the piece shows the lives of several person that inhabit the same building. Ray (independent figure Alan Gelfant), the manager who's a sexist scumbag; Sylvia, the crying neighbor who cooks and desperately seeks for love and the new girl Lori (Beth Ulrich), who captures Alex's heart.
A mysterious tall guy who speaks Spanish is always standing and wandering mumbling things in his own language that try to explain a lot. A prostitute who lives besides Alex goes out every night and does this with a different outfit (nurse, police officer). Bootzin observes quietly, slowly. His camera is omnipresent and not at all ambitious; it lays back, creates the environment, and moves faster in a very funny scene where every inhabitant does his thing rapidly. His edition is quick and easy; it leaves a lot to desire.
Bootzin's screenplay, which he wrote alongside a female colleague, is flexible as life itself. It allows us to watch his characters sitting down in the porch with a cup of hot coffee at 10 a.m. in the morning. It allows us to see how culture and education influence a relationship; because Lori went to the army and Alex paints, and Lori doesn't know how Jackson Pollack was. In fact, as Ray correctly observes: "Nobody knows who Jackson Pollack was".
This artistic side of the main character played by Ruffalo, which seems to be the core of the character piece, is not extensively developed. His painting is, as many say, "soulless"; or at least at the beginning, because then Alex finds the artistry inside his feelings.
Even when in the end every character has a big smile in their face, the music inspires happiness and the whole ride has been pleasant, there's a feeling of disappointment. A feeling related to things that could have been present but weren't; to a depth that was intended but didn't appeared.
- Mar 12, 2006