As the title suggests, this is a Short Cuts-style multi-character narrative in which everyone's lives interconnect. Emotionally brittle John (Swersey) splits up with his wife; his sons (Thompson and Brandon Ratcliff) come to live with him; they meet two young teenagers who tease John's work colleague with sexual come-ons; John meets Christine (July), a digital artist who is bent on wooing him; their pre-pubescent neighbour is obsessed with collecting household appliances for her hope chest. "I am prepared for amazing things to happen," John declares early on in the story; whether or not he was prepared for the abstractions and wilful obscurities of July's script is another matter entirely. While the performances are strong here, particularly those of Swersey, July and young Thompson, the narrative wanders down that long, meandering lane at the end of which lies the American art-house indie holy grail, that of completely stumping the audience. This is one of those movies where you spend most of your time trying to work out what the writer/director is trying to say, and were you're uncomfortably aware of the strong possibility the director was wondering the same thing. The shadow-play of quirky, off-beat characters hints at depths that are never explored, and the resolutions of the various story-lines are unconvincing. "Do you know what karma means?" John says at one point. "It means she owes me one." If that's the case, Miranda July owes me 91 minutes of my precious time.
Review by Declan Burke | 09:00 | Thursday 18th August 2005 | Movie Review
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