Monday, May 07, 2007

MUTUAL APPRECIATION - amiable people talk rubbish

MUTUAL APPRECIATION is a rather rambling self-indulgent film in which amiable slackers make inconsequential small-talk for two hours. Filmed in black and white with no attempts at visual style, plotting or character development, the movie aspires to the stripped down truth of Cassavetes but falls far short. The writer-director Andrew Bujalski seems to be pitching the central character Alan (Justin Rice) Alan is a slacker musician who moves from Boston to New York in search of the in-crowd and a record contract. He hangs out with his school-friend, Lawrence (Bujalski) - an apathetic college lecturer - and meanders towards an uncomfortable love for Lawrence's girlfriend Ellie (Rachel Clift.) These twenty-somethings bumble along with an infantile passivity and narcissism. The humour is patchy and any sharp insight to human relationships lacking. So ignore reviewers who speak of Important Indie Credentials and Enchanting Quirkiness. That'll take you through 20 minutes, but the next 60 are like being trapped inside a Cat Stevens song with the needle stuck.

MUTUAL APPRECIATION played a bunch of festivals and is currently on super-limited release in the UK. It's also available on Region 1 DVD.

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