I don't know how I got on the mailing list for independent Parker Posey movies this year, but the actress who always skirts just under mainstream attention is back with yet another drama-comedy titled Broken English, about a 30-something New Yorker looking for love in all the wrong places - until she looks in the right place.
Broken English is a cute little film. Not remarkably memorable, but cute. Recommended, but I won't rave about it. Basically, if you like Parker Posey and you like quirky little independent films, then you'll probably like Broken English. If not, you've probably already stopped reading this review.
I call Broken English a quirky little independent film, but it really isn't that quirky. Perhaps that's good, perhaps that's bad, I don't know. On the one hand, the movie is a fairly believable romantic comedy-drama, free of a lot of the fluff you'd get in a mainstream film. Posey goes from bad date to bad date, though I can't remember any of them specifically - shows how memorable they were, right? Finally, she winds up at a friend's art party and meets a French man who is visiting the States. He "forces" her along on an all-night date, and within a couple days, despite her hesitation and reluctance, they have all but fallen in love. Unfortunately for her, he's headed back to Paris in a day.
Everything about the movie is quality, right down to Posey's relatively raw performance. She's likable but, as one would expect from Posey, not fluffy likable. She is who she is and she plays the character very well, and you really are rooting for her to succeed at the end. Melvil Poupad, as the love interest, is also very good and plays a very realistic one at that, while Drea De Matteo turns in an entertaining supporting performance as Posey's good friend.
Again, the only problem with Broken English is that it is not that memorable. Independent films like these usually rely on some quirky humor to get through, and while I give Broken English props for avoiding it, a little more unique humor wouldn't have hurt. There are some funny parts, but once the ending credits start rolling, the movie's never going to register in your brain again.
Broken English is a good little movie, and recommended to those who like independent romantic comedies, but it seems to intentionally lack a spark that could have taken it to the next level.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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