This is one of those frustratingly small movies, meaning that its theatrical origins don't translate well onto the big screen and its seemingly grand themes and minor characters can't escape the small stage where the story should have stayed.
"Closer" felt much the same way and this genre of movie is quickly becoming a cliché. Take a group of people, give them some problems, and intertwine their lives so that in the end the audience is surprised by the various revelations. It's a method that nearly writes itself these days.
The main characters are Isabel (Elizabeth Banks) and Jonathan (James Marsden), an engaged couple who don't quite seem as happy as they should be. Sure enough, as their wedding draws near, their lives become increasingly disturbed. Isabel's mother is Diana (Glenn Close), a self-absorbed actress who appears as though she was ripped right out of "Being Julia." Isabel's life seems to move closer to stability while Diana's moves away from it as Diana realizes her husband is having an affair and seeks to balance that indiscretion with one of her own, possibly with Alec (Jesse Bradford), an actor trying out for play she is directing. Jonathan's problems develop when a researcher comes calling, asking about a photo shoot that implicates Jonathan in a homosexual relationship with the photographer - not exactly something that's going to make the wife happy.
I've read various reviews calling director Chris Terrio's debut "promising," but I'm not biting. Frankly, I think that any half-wit with a moderate comprehension of the human condition can make one of these films. Furthermore, this is precisely the type of shit that only happens in L.A. or New York and I couldn't care less about people who choose to live in either place or the directors who think that their screwed up lives make for interesting drama.
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