Match Movie Review
Captain Picard is a flamboyant Juliard professor who learns he may or may not be the father of an asshole in Match, a surprisingly engaging play-turned-movie that thrives on riveting dialogue and powerhouse acting.
Written and directed by Stephen Belber, who also wrote the 2004 play, Match has a simple premise: a man welcomes a woman who is writing a dissertation, and her husband, into his home, only to discover that they have ulterior motives. But it’s how the three characters evolve, and the way they respond to one another, that makes Match work.
Patrick Stewart hasn’t exactly had the movie career his background would suggest; despite being a notable stage actor, an alum of the Royal Shakespeare Company and undoubtedly popular, his biggest successes have been as a captain in a [highly respected] sci-fi show and as a mutant in a comic book movie franchise. Nothing to sneeze at, of course, but an odd resume given his dramatic pedigree.
Stewart is terrific in Match... powerful, emotional and funny. The bald-headed wonder really gets to flex his acting muscles here, and it’s a sight to behold.
The movie itself is well crafted, though clearly based on a play. The movie works in spite and because of this; Belber delivers a slick, tightly knit production that thrives on its calculated dialogue and strong performances, though like in so many plays-turned-movies, the dialogue and narrow storytelling can feel a little too calculated at times.
While the characters portrayed by Stewart and Carla Gugino are fully developed, Matthew Lillard’s character needed more fleshing out; he is clearly the odd man out, despite his role and reactions being so pertinent to the overall story.
Match is a well made, well acted movie that gets better as it goes along, but if you don’t like dialogue-heavy plays, this movie won’t do much to change your mind.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.