A movie for people who don't mind living real lives
The story of MFLA is simple and easy to tell; yet it manages to get to the core of how difficult it can be to form a meaningful adult connection.
John and Mary work in the same office. They get along well, and talk about the difficulty, as divorced adults, each is having in trying to socialize with others in any meaningful way. One night they run into each other at a Woody Allen double feature. Soon, they are having a relationship they must keep secret from their co-workers: a romantic attachment at work means certain dismissal. This situation provides the groundwork for an unexpected sense of the comedic. The performances are so natural, it seems more like watching real people rather than actors. The characters are credible, and there is nothing contrived about this movie. In fact, the story is so firmly grounded in reality that it may not provide the escapism that many look for in a movie. As well, it's realism is not of the grim despair that attracts the art house crowds. It's a comedy for people who don't mind living real lives.
The sweet naturalness of John and Mary, and their friends at work, expresses an unexpectedly subtle vulnerability that makes one feel emotionally naked. This effect is practically subliminal, and is one of the movie's strengths. Another is the dialogue, which is clean, clear, and brings us quickly to what's important in each person's life.
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