Monday, January 14, 2008

FILM REVIEW: "Starting Out in the Evening"

I saw a sweet but slow film last night, "Starting Out in the Evening"--a little too sweet and definitely too long. It stars Frank Langella (not my favorite performance of his; an unfortunate actor's choice: he acted an inactive character 'attitude' choice throughout.) There were also three very nice other actors in the film: Lauren Ambrose, Lili Taylor and Adrian Lester (who was especially good).

The film story, however, is not unique: young girl, wanting to write her master's thesis on an out-of-print intellectual novelist, soon 'hits' on old man/writer--who is very reluctant to open up, both professionally and personally. Meanwhile the old man's 40 year old daughter is having her own relationship tension with a man who will not commit (his lack of commitment exemplified by his refusal to have a baby with her).

Pop-psychology resonates in this film; but little else...a paucity as far as philosophical ideas or human-insight-uniqueness go. There is a lot (a lot a lot) of talk about relationships, personal caring, career selfishness, etc...unfortunately these themes are treated in a manner that make them seem like worn territory--which they are; 'on the nose', as they say.

However, if the above stories and relationships intrigue you, I recommend you see last year's "Venus" (for brilliantly exectuted March-December romance), and this year's "Juno" and "Knocked-Up" (for more interesting and comedic manifestations of male commitment fears, having sex, getting old and having babies).


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