“Dates are weird sometimes.”
Two lonely, insecure co-workers at a law firm go to dinner at one of their apartments. What starts off as a cringingly funny awkward date soon turns into a descent into their pain, protective delusions, and the desperate need for companionship that underlines every basic human interaction – and the true tragedy at the heart of that desperation.
Tom Noonan (who also writes and directs) and Karen Sillas are flawless. They constantly play at being on the verge of connection, but they never quite get there – they are unable to move past their own hang-ups to actually allow themselves to be happy. And, at around the 60 minute mark, when a big tonal shift occurs, they reach into their souls to find truth.
Stylistically, Noonan uses the theatricality inherent to his material subversively, pulling the camera closer and closer as secrets pile up, placing the viewer at a voyeuristic edge, or framing the central couple with obvious negative space between them. It feels necessarily cinematic, which is more than one can say for many stage adaptations.
This is a dark film. It is deeply tragic one. It is a humanistic masterpiece.
Broken people being broken, failing to solve their own puzzles.
Don’t watch the trailer, it’s terrible. Rent it and weep for the tragedy of humanity. (This is a ridiculously hyperbolic review, but I honestly think it’s that good).
“If I screw up, that’s OK, because that’s what people do. Screwing up is a good thing. It’s good, and, then, then they’ll tell me to go to bed and go to sleep, and then we’ll wake up and we’ll do something and we’ll have fun. I’m sorry.”
I feel physically ill. My chest is tight. My arms are crossed. This film broke me.