Parker Posey and Melvil Poupaud form a cross-Atlantic indie film dream team in Zoe Cassavetes’ directorial debut, a sparkling romantic comedy for latent depressives and the chronically lovelorn. Posey stars as Nora, a very Parker Posey–like young woman who’s actually, gulp!, 35ish and still single. Reminded by her kindhearted though thoughtless mother (the magnificent Gena Rowlands, Cassavetes’ real-life mom) that “the good ones are snapped up by your age,” Nora is further sent into depression by the “perfect marriage” of her best friend, Audrey (Drea de Matteo). Vowing to start dating, she embarks on a string of disastrous encounters with disastrous men until she meets Julian, an attentive, handsome Frenchman (Melvil Poupaud, a frequent Raoul Ruiz collaborator and star of François Ozon’s Time to Leave). Too bad he’s leaving for France soon; too bad Nora can’t remember his last name when he does. After all, there are quite a few Julians in Paris, and she might just have to track each of them down to find him. Whether their spark can turn into a flame is one question; whether it can survive Nora’s scattered thought process is yet another. Recharging the rom-com genre with a joltingly millennial, post-Xanax outlook and the fast-paced verve of ’30s screwball classics, Cassavetes keeps things moving briskly, able to balance the demands of the genre with a few serious comments on depression, loneliness, and urban disconnections. She elicits delightful performances from Posey and Poupaud, both of whom radiate intelligence, humor and charm. –SFIFF
Zoe Rowlands Cassavetes (born June 29, 1970 in Los Angeles, California) is an American film director, screenwriter and actress. She is best known for her 2007 film Broken English and as the daughter of American actor and filmmaker John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands.
Cassavetes’ first experience with the filmmaking business was at the age of one, when she had an uncredited role in her late father John Cassavetes’ film Minnie and Moskowitz as a baby girl, but it was not until 1991 that she had her first acting role in a film, Ted & Venus, which was followed with minor roles in the films Noises Off and The Thing Called Love. In 1994, she and her filmmaking friend Sofia Coppola created and hosted the Comedy Central television series Hi Octane, a skit and variety show that featured guests including Keanu Reeves, Beastie Boys and Martin Scorsese. Hi Octane lasted for only one season but is remembered as one of the first series to be entirely shot in digital video.
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