Alan is a musician who leaves a busted-up band for New York, and a new musical voyage. He tries to stay focused and fends off all manner of distractions, including the attraction to his good friend's girlfriend.
Marnie just graduated from college, drinks likes she's still in school, and is looking for a temporary job but a permanent boyfriend. She loves a guy who doesn't love her (?), ping-pongs ... See full summary »
Hannah is a recent college graduate interning at a Chicago production company. She is crushing on two writers at work, Matt and Paul, who share an office and keep her entertained. Will a ... See full summary »
Jamie is 21. She's from Atlanta. She's come to Brooklyn to visit her friend Samantha, but she can't find her. Jamie meets a stranger named Charlie on the subway and spends 24 hours hanging out with him.
Jessica and Gus, two apathetic teenagers, drift aimlessly from one day to the next until they meet each other. They make a tenuous and fleeting connection when Gus confides in Jessica about his dark past.
Adults in their 20s circle each other, their bodies in motion, with occasional attractions and lots of talk. Alan is a musician, just down to New York from Boston, hanging out with his friend Lawrence and Lawrence's girlfriend Ellie. Alan and Ellie are on a bed talking: is this prelude or possibility? Sara, who has interviewed Alan for the radio, seems attracted to Alan, but Alan may not be so sure. They, too, sit on the edge of a bed. He has a gig; it goes well. How should he handle Sara? Has the moment with Ellie passed? Do things play out or does time merely pass as bodies move through space?Written by
At times, this picture feels like a slimmed down Jean Eustache film or an extremely modest variation of Francois Truffaut's ''Jules et Jim." You're forced to wonder what more money or a bigger vision might have produced. While it's true that the characters here have slim ambitions, you consequently have to wonder -- even while remaining devoted to his uncannily subtle skill with character -- what else Bujalski has up his sleeve. A panning shot, perhaps? ''Mutual Appreciation" is his first New York film (''Funny Ha Ha" was set in Allston), and the world he's captured is true to Alan's hipster dreams and indie-rock goals. The character's emotional dial is set on ''emo," which means he lacks the social constitution to articulate himself. He's passive, aimless, and occasionally narcissistic. See Alan unhook himself from Sara (Seung-Min Lee), a cute radio DJ, without it costing him her brother, who's his temporary drummer. And watch as he carries on a flirtation with Ellie, who's also attracted to him. Her emotional intelligence, however, is superior. The women in ''Mutual Appreciation" are confident and direct. The men can be exasperatingly meek.
''Funny Ha Ha" was about a stalled 20-something and her romantic entanglements. (The woman who played her, Kate Dollenmayer, has a too-small part here.) ''Mutual Appreciation" is the second chapter in what seems like Bujalski's statement about people trying to find the right words as they move toward adulthood and negotiating their fears of commitment of any kind -- to a job, a person, or a complete thought. He could have called this movie ''A Tentative Yes." Of course, that title should do nothing to stop you from making an absolute commitment to see this film.
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