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When two college students, Sam and Thea, meet Coles at a party, their mutual attraction is immediate, leading to a passionate and awkward night together, and the onset of an intensely charged bond. As they continue to push the sexual boundaries of their friendship, however, they are tested by Sam and Coles' incipient romance and Thea's increasing recklessness, until the relationship dissolves amid a cloud of fear, resentment and mistrust. Eight years later they reunite. An animator for a high-profile ad agency, Coles now lives with Claire, his girlfriend of five years. Thea is happily married to Miles, with whom she owns a flourishing restaurant. And Sam has just returned to Manhattan after working in London where she recently broke off her engagement. Yet upon reconnecting, the three are drawn back into the complicated dynamic that defined their relationship from the start and are forced to confront the true meaning of commitment and love.Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Love Lies Bleeding
Written by Rupert Keiller and Adrian Cartwright
Performed by Sonicanimation
Licensed courtesy Global Recordings Pty Ltd.
Published by Festival Music Publishing, Australia ASCAP See more »
Three college-age swingers "get together" for some fun, and in the course of a few months grow emotionally close to each other. The central character is Coles (Mark Ruffalo), a libertine who draws artwork and wants to be a filmmaker. The two women are attractive, and as arty and modern in outlook as Coles. But over time, the three drift apart. Five years later Coles and one of the ladies cross paths, which sparks a reunion between the three, together with their current mates. "XX/XY" is a cinematic study in growing up, making decisions, and accepting responsibility for those decisions.
The screenplay is weak, with a mediocre premise, an Act Two that dawdles and meanders, and dialogue that is not memorable. Still, the overall acting is strong enough to overcome the screenplay, and render a film that is mildly entertaining and engaging. It's certainly better than what I had expected.
The film's cinematography is not remarkable, but it's not bad either. I don't recall a film with so many close-up shots. It's as if the director wanted to emphasize that the film is a character study, by zooming in close to each of the main characters, over and over and over. I could have wished for more variety in camera techniques.
Also, given the romantic angle of the story and the arty personalities, I could have wished for a more bohemian cinematic style, along the lines of "Plein soleil"(1960), with dazzling colors and music, and more flair in production design. The apparent low budget of "XX/XY" renders a style that is somewhat pedestrian and bland.
But as is, "XX/XY" is not a bad film. It's worth at least a one time visit, especially for youthful viewers still searching for themselves and not yet committed to any particular path in life.
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