Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
USA, 2005. Lions Gate Films. Screenplay by Don Roos. Cinematography by Clark Mathis. Produced by Michael Paseornek, Holly Wiersma. Music by Nicole Tocantins. Production Design by Richard Sherman. Costume Design by Peggy A. Schnitzer. Film Editing by David Codron.
Don Roos ignores the speedbump of Bounce and returns to the flavour of his directorial debut The Opposite Of Sex with this shrewd but downbeat multi-character study. At the center of the magnolia-leaved roster is Lisa Kudrow as a bitter divorcee who is stultified when a young filmmaker shows up (Jesse Bradford) looking to exploit a past skeleton in her closet. Meanwhile, her stepbrother (Steve Coogan) and his boyfriend (David Sutcliffe) throw their relationship with their two best friends (Laura Dern, who is wonderful, and Sarah Clarke) into jeopardy when Coogan insists that the female couple’s baby was created with a stolen sample of Sutcliffe’s sperm. Maggie Gyllenhaal is lively and appropriately unbathed as a drifting singer who charms her way into the life of closeted Jason Ritter and his millionaire father (Tom Arnold). Performances are at a high throughout, and Roos continues to show an incredible flair for strong, believable and politically incorrect dialogue, but there is very little holding these stories together. None of the characters are particularly sympathetic, and at 130 minutes the film tests your patience with a collection of scenarios that are never intense enough to hold you in your seat. Gyllenhaal’s story particularly brings back images and themes of The Opposite Of Sex, which was much snappier.