Pin It
Favorite

DVD Review - 13 Conversations 

by Marty Demarest


This film delivers exactly what it says it will: a lot of talk that's spread out over 13 scenes. However, since this is a low-budget movie that stars people like Alan Arkin and John Turturro, the thing they talk about isn't sex. In fact, sex, or any other form of human contact, hardly seems to have anything to do with the film's subject, which is happiness. But since this is a film that played at festivals instead of multiplexes, there isn't a lot of happiness to go around.


What there is an abundance of is clich & eacute;d dialogue. Characters avoid eye contact with one another and introspectively mutter lines like, "You set me free." The all-important "When can I see you again?" makes an appearance, as does "Life isn't fair." Lives aren't fair indeed -- particularly, it seems, the lives of boring college professors and young, starving cleaning people. If you're a moderately well-off attorney, as Matthew McConaughey is here, life isn't fair as long as you use a razor blade to keep opening the cut that you got when you hit a girl and fled the scene. Otherwise your life is just fine.


Despite the stagy talkiness and trite dialogue that writers Jill and Karen Sprecher have built their movie on, however, the story -- about a number of New Yorkers who experience life's ups and downs -- works. Director Jill Sprecher (who also made the delightful Clockwatchers) had the good sense to hire some quality actors and let the camera run until they were done with a scene. As a result, the most refreshing thing about 13 Conversations is that it manages to avoid the worst sort of clich & eacute;s. If this were a Hollywood film, we would no doubt have Michelle Pfeiffer's cheekbones emoting like mad, and be forced to contend with Russell Crowe grimacing his way through moral dilemmas as though he were chewing on some tough meat. Everything would work out in the end, and someone would learn that having "another chance" and "making the most of it" causes soaring music to play, which would be played again during the Oscars.


Here, perhaps, we learn that "ignorance is bliss," and that "it's all luck." But sometimes it's good to be reminded of that. At least it's true.

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Game Changer
  • Game Changer

    Since Condon became mayor, Jan Quintrall has been responsible for some of the biggest changes in the city of Spokane — and some of its biggest controversies
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • In Contempt
  • In Contempt

    A Spokane judge rules that the mental health system has willfully failed to follow evaluation deadlines
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • Never Again
  • Never Again

    Washington state lawmakers push reforms after last July's murder-suicide; plus, Spokane's police ombudsman is leaving
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat
Hosted Eagle Viewing

Hosted Eagle Viewing @ Coeur d'Alene

Sun., Dec. 21, 8-11 a.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Marty Demarest

  • The Cowboy's Cowboy
  • The Cowboy's Cowboy

    A Canadian sings about the life —  not just the lifestyle — of the new West
    • May 15, 2013
  • Completing the Trilogy
  • Completing the Trilogy

    Mass Effect has finally arrived
    • May 23, 2012
  • Minecraft
  • Minecraft

    Adventure and survival too often give way to mindless crafts in this building-block simulator.
    • Feb 8, 2012
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Let Us Breathe

    Spokane joins national protests over the failure to indict white officers for killing black civilians
    • Dec 10, 2014
  • Screw Big Cities

    A mid-sized manifesto
    • Dec 3, 2014
  • More »

© 2014 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation