Sunday, November 04, 2007

Broken English: Grade C

Broken English (2007)

Parker Posey, Drea de Matteo, Melvil Poupaud. Writer-director Zoe Cassavetes.

Parker Posey is always fascinating, and she held my attention throughout this plodding, uneventful, romantic drama. Her fleeting gestures are especially captivating, but as much as I like her, I think she does better in a satirical role where she can display her signature arch irony. Here, she is a Manhattan single looking for love, who meets only disappointing guys. The character drinks too much (there is a wineglass in every scene), pops pills, eats junk food (which we don’t believe for a minute, looking at her trim, muscular figure), smokes continuously, is depressive, has no interests, and suffers anxiety attacks. I wonder why she can’t meet an interesting guy? She does finally meet a Frenchman (Poupaud) who she sort of likes but doesn’t trust, but he leaves after one weekend. With her friend (de Matteo) she goes to Paris on a quest to find him, but can’t. Why does she do that? Desperation, maybe. She wouldn’t know love if it bit her, even though she has a tender, loving relationship with her girlfriend. The directing does capture the psychological intimacy of the characters, and that is no easy feat. Many scenes have characters standing against a featureless wall where there is no escaping the camera. It’s act or die. However, the whole movie reminds me of a weak Woody Allen film about rich New York neurotics whining about inconveniences. Nothing happens in this story and despite Posey’s magnetism, her character’s development is too slight to be very interesting. Watchable and forgettable.

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