Wednesday, January 16, 2008

XX/XY (2002)

Okay where do I begin with this one. Let's take the plot of this film. "Three friends begin a dangerous three-way relationship that spirals out of control, leading to dire consequences that haunt them ten years later." Okay so I took that from somewhere, but that sums up the plot, and there isn't much to begin with. Mark Ruffalo plays Coles a animator/filmmaker of sorts. Maya Stange plays Sam the girl that Cole likes, and meets at some party in NYC. Enter Kathleen Robertson who plays Thea Sam's roommate, and friend. They have a sort of a Ménage à trois one night and after Ruffalo's character seems smitten by Sam. Pettiness, and jealousy doom the relationship and the threesome break-up. We then pick up in the present day about ten years or so into the future, and Cole is a ad man for an ad agency. Cole runs into Sam one day, and old feeling are stirred up between the two only this time with other complications. Seems as though Cole is in love with Petra Wright who plays Clair, and Sam has broken off her wedding to a English guy in London.

Sound like a soap opera? Well it is, and I can only imagine how the filmmakers got the money to actual shoot this. Maybe it was the sexual liaisons in the film that did it, but even those scenes feel cold and boring. I wrote a script for my screenplay class when I was in college. The script was about twenty somethings doing their thing in the world, and it was set in NYC. I even broke down the script for a class in production management, and I gave it to my professor to grade. I eventually budgeted the film to be close to two million dollars. After all I was doing this with a union crew, and SAG actors at the time. My professor gave me a good grade for the breakdown, but he said he didn't know how anyone would finance such a film. It was very expensive, and didn't say anything. My professor was completely right in his opinion. The script was too self indulgent, and had no hook.

Somehow the filmmakers of XX/XY got the money to do their film, and the production value really looks good, but it is wasted on characters that the audience couldn't care less of. I did watch it to the end after feeling I'd vested way too much time on it, and I'd hoped it would get better. Unfortunately the film did not. Now I won't say that the film is a total waste. After all human beings aren't perfect, and we do some really stupid things when we think we are in love, but the film drags a bit, and Mark Ruffalo's character can become a bit annoying. Maybe that's what the filmmaker wanted, but I can see where some people in the audience would just give up and leave. There has to be some redeeming value in a character even if it's a false impression.

Also the last shot of the film seemed strained. I needed to see more in their faces. Cutting to a closing door and the two holding hands didn't seem right, or is it that the filmmaker wanted you to feel that. After all I thought Cole was destined to a loveless marriage at the end. But it could of played better for me, and in the end I ultimately didn't think too much for the story. In the end I guess the main reason I didn't like this film was that I just didn't care.

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