Broken English: Zoe Cassavetes’ Romantic Dramedy

Sundance Film Festival, January 20, 2007 (World Premiere, Dramatic Competition)–“Broken English,” the new romantic serio-comedy, is directed by Zoe Cassavetes, daughter of the distinguished filmmaker John Cassavetes and actress Gena Rowlands (and sister of director Nick). It is a pleasant, mildly entertaining film, with strong performances from Parker Posey in the lead and Drea de Mateo as her friend.

Disregard the film’s title, which is too literal and doesn’t do justice to the richer subtext of this indie variation of the old, much cherished, Hollywood genre. At one point, when Parker and de Mateo arrive in Paris, the cab driver wishes them to have “happiness,” but speaking in a heavy accent, they think he’s wishing them to have “a penis.” And when Posey and Melvil Poupaud go on a date, and he says he’s hungry, she thinks he said he was angry. (This aspect of the narrative is by now banal)

As scripted by Zoe, the film could have easily been titled “Two Girls in Paris,” and indeed, the story is very much an updated version of cross-cultural romances that go back to the 1950s with various American girls (young and old, virgins and spinsters) go abroad and experience for the first time in their lives romantic love. You may recall the schmaltzy “Three Coins in the Fountain,” set in Rome, or the more substantial David Lean’s “Summertime,” set in Venice, where Katharine Hepburn falls for a married Italian.

“Broken English” is neither schmaltzy nor too substantial, but it displays on screen a uniquely female perspective on the issue of societal and familial pressures on women to fall in love and, more importantly, get married before it’s too late. In this respect, the film’s subtext is more interesting than its overt text. I wish Zoe digged deeper into this theme, the double standards that still prevail in American culture about the meaning of love and marriage for men and women.

Even so, distributor Magnolia should do well with its indie chick flick, a date movie set in New York and Paris, which features Posey in an uncharacteristically subtle and understated performance (one of her very best), after “specializing” for a whole decade in playing bright but cynical and harsh women.

Posey is in the right age to play the thirtysomething Nora, a sexy, funny, and creative woman who’s stuck with a hotel job as its public relations manager, waiting for something more significant to happen.

The sage begins with a celebration of the fifth wedding anniversary of Nora’s best friend and confidante Audrey (Drea de Mateo), with declarations of love and commitment from her husband. Which immediately signals to us that Audrey is not particularly happy and that her marriage may be on the rocks.

Nora’s parents (played by Zoe real-life mother Gena Rowlands and director Peter Bogdanovich) wish their daughter find a man of her caliber and settle downbefore she gets too old (the whole biological clock thing).

There’s no lack of men in Nora’s life. First, she dates an actor named Nick (played by Justin Theroux), who stays in her hotel only to realize (in a fake scene) that he’s involved with another woman. Then there’s an architect whose specialty is designing chains of hotels, thus touching a nerve with Nora.

Parents and friends try to set her up with men but to no avail. Opportunity knocks, when she attends a Fourth of July party at her colleague’s house and unexpectedly meets a sexy Frenchman (Melvil Poupaud). Add their encounter to the list of cute (and cutesy) first meetings in Hollywood romantic comedies. Nora is in the elevator, about to leave, when Poupaud arrives and begs her to stay for another drink.

What’s a girl to do Nora stays, and one drink leads to another. Insecure for not sleeping with Poupaud in their first rendezvous, Nora finds it hard to believe that he’s seriously and romantically interested in her. Writer Zoe reverses the tables and now depicts Poupaud as a soundman whose girlfriend actress dumps him, when she falls for her leading man (a clich but we close one eye).

Last reel is set in Paris, when Nora, having quit her boring hotel job, goes to the city of lights and romance with Audrey to look for Poupaud. Except, she loses his phone number, which gives director Zoe some opportunities to explore the experiences of two American girls in Parisfor the first time.

Zoe comes up with diversions and digressions that keep us involved in the story, even if she occasionally succumbed to cultural stereotypes and clichs. Most of the French men in the movie, unlike their American counterparts, are portrayed as honest, sensitive, generous, and romantic.

Even so, it’s been quite a while since we have seen a cross-cultural romantic comedy whose heart is in the right place, even if the execution leaves much to be desired. A novice feature helmer, Zoe began her directing career in 1993, when she co-created and co-hosted the experimental “High Octane” for Comedy Central with Sofia Coppola. Her first short film, “Men Make Women Crazy Theory,” played at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival. Zoe’s other credits include commercials for Chase Manhattan Bank, Anna Sui, and Advair, music videos for Duncan Sheik and rocker John Fogerty, and short pieces for the band Chromeo and comedian Chris Rock.

Made on a small budget, the film looks decent, but no more. At this point, Zoe lacks command over the technical properties of film and she has problems with pacing; though it’s only 96 minutes, the film drags a bit.

Nonetheless, the tone of “Broken English” is sufficiently modulated, and Zoe captures the anxieties of a young middle-aged woman, who begins as a victim of societal expectations and gradually transformed into a mature individualistic femme in closer touch with her true feelings.

The main reason to see “Broken English” is Parker Posey’s wonderful performance, one that conveys vividly and realistically the hang-ups of a neurotic and repressed New York woman, who relies too much on drugs and liquor to survive the day, and particularly the night.

The film also benefits from strong chemistry between Parker and Poupaud, as a sexy Frenchman, who’s biologically younger than Nora but emotionally far more mature and confident.

xosotin chelseathông tin chuyển nhượngcâu lạc bộ bóng đá arsenalbóng đá atalantabundesligacầu thủ haalandUEFAevertonxosokeonhacaiketquabongdalichthidau7m.newskqbdtysokeobongdabongdalufutebol ao vivofutemaxmulticanaisonbetbsport.fitonbet88.oooi9bet.bizhi88.ooookvip.atf8bet.atfb88.cashvn88.cashshbet.atbóng đá world cupbóng đá inter milantin juventusbenzemala ligaclb leicester cityMUman citymessi lionelsalahnapolineymarpsgronaldoserie atottenhamvalenciaAS ROMALeverkusenac milanmbappenapolinewcastleaston villaliverpoolfa cupreal madridpremier leagueAjaxbao bong da247EPLbarcelonabournemouthaff cupasean footballbên lề sân cỏbáo bóng đá mớibóng đá cúp thế giớitin bóng đá ViệtUEFAbáo bóng đá việt namHuyền thoại bóng đágiải ngoại hạng anhSeagametap chi bong da the gioitin bong da lutrận đấu hôm nayviệt nam bóng đátin nong bong daBóng đá nữthể thao 7m24h bóng đábóng đá hôm naythe thao ngoai hang anhtin nhanh bóng đáphòng thay đồ bóng đábóng đá phủikèo nhà cái onbetbóng đá lu 2thông tin phòng thay đồthe thao vuaapp đánh lô đềdudoanxosoxổ số giải đặc biệthôm nay xổ sốkèo đẹp hôm nayketquaxosokq xskqxsmnsoi cầu ba miềnsoi cau thong kesxkt hôm naythế giới xổ sốxổ số 24hxo.soxoso3mienxo so ba mienxoso dac bietxosodientoanxổ số dự đoánvé số chiều xổxoso ket quaxosokienthietxoso kq hôm nayxoso ktxổ số megaxổ số mới nhất hôm nayxoso truc tiepxoso ViệtSX3MIENxs dự đoánxs mien bac hom nayxs miên namxsmientrungxsmn thu 7con số may mắn hôm nayKQXS 3 miền Bắc Trung Nam Nhanhdự đoán xổ số 3 miềndò vé sốdu doan xo so hom nayket qua xo xoket qua xo so.vntrúng thưởng xo sokq xoso trực tiếpket qua xskqxs 247số miền nams0x0 mienbacxosobamien hôm naysố đẹp hôm naysố đẹp trực tuyếnnuôi số đẹpxo so hom quaxoso ketquaxstruc tiep hom nayxổ số kiến thiết trực tiếpxổ số kq hôm nayso xo kq trực tuyenkết quả xổ số miền bắc trực tiếpxo so miền namxổ số miền nam trực tiếptrực tiếp xổ số hôm nayket wa xsKQ XOSOxoso onlinexo so truc tiep hom nayxsttso mien bac trong ngàyKQXS3Msố so mien bacdu doan xo so onlinedu doan cau loxổ số kenokqxs vnKQXOSOKQXS hôm naytrực tiếp kết quả xổ số ba miềncap lo dep nhat hom naysoi cầu chuẩn hôm nayso ket qua xo soXem kết quả xổ số nhanh nhấtSX3MIENXSMB chủ nhậtKQXSMNkết quả mở giải trực tuyếnGiờ vàng chốt số OnlineĐánh Đề Con Gìdò số miền namdò vé số hôm nayso mo so debach thủ lô đẹp nhất hôm naycầu đề hôm naykết quả xổ số kiến thiết toàn quốccau dep 88xsmb rong bach kimket qua xs 2023dự đoán xổ số hàng ngàyBạch thủ đề miền BắcSoi Cầu MB thần tàisoi cau vip 247soi cầu tốtsoi cầu miễn phísoi cau mb vipxsmb hom nayxs vietlottxsmn hôm naycầu lô đẹpthống kê lô kép xổ số miền Bắcquay thử xsmnxổ số thần tàiQuay thử XSMTxổ số chiều nayxo so mien nam hom nayweb đánh lô đề trực tuyến uy tínKQXS hôm nayxsmb ngày hôm nayXSMT chủ nhậtxổ số Power 6/55KQXS A trúng roycao thủ chốt sốbảng xổ số đặc biệtsoi cầu 247 vipsoi cầu wap 666Soi cầu miễn phí 888 VIPSoi Cau Chuan MBđộc thủ desố miền bắcthần tài cho sốKết quả xổ số thần tàiXem trực tiếp xổ sốXIN SỐ THẦN TÀI THỔ ĐỊACầu lô số đẹplô đẹp vip 24hsoi cầu miễn phí 888xổ số kiến thiết chiều nayXSMN thứ 7 hàng tuầnKết quả Xổ số Hồ Chí Minhnhà cái xổ số Việt NamXổ Số Đại PhátXổ số mới nhất Hôm Nayso xo mb hom nayxxmb88quay thu mbXo so Minh ChinhXS Minh Ngọc trực tiếp hôm nayXSMN 88XSTDxs than taixổ số UY TIN NHẤTxs vietlott 88SOI CẦU SIÊU CHUẨNSoiCauVietlô đẹp hôm nay vipket qua so xo hom naykqxsmb 30 ngàydự đoán xổ số 3 miềnSoi cầu 3 càng chuẩn xácbạch thủ lônuoi lo chuanbắt lô chuẩn theo ngàykq xo-solô 3 càngnuôi lô đề siêu vipcầu Lô Xiên XSMBđề về bao nhiêuSoi cầu x3xổ số kiến thiết ngày hôm nayquay thử xsmttruc tiep kết quả sxmntrực tiếp miền bắckết quả xổ số chấm vnbảng xs đặc biệt năm 2023soi cau xsmbxổ số hà nội hôm naysxmtxsmt hôm nayxs truc tiep mbketqua xo so onlinekqxs onlinexo số hôm nayXS3MTin xs hôm nayxsmn thu2XSMN hom nayxổ số miền bắc trực tiếp hôm naySO XOxsmbsxmn hôm nay188betlink188 xo sosoi cầu vip 88lô tô việtsoi lô việtXS247xs ba miềnchốt lô đẹp nhất hôm naychốt số xsmbCHƠI LÔ TÔsoi cau mn hom naychốt lô chuẩndu doan sxmtdự đoán xổ số onlinerồng bạch kim chốt 3 càng miễn phí hôm naythống kê lô gan miền bắcdàn đề lôCầu Kèo Đặc Biệtchốt cầu may mắnkết quả xổ số miền bắc hômSoi cầu vàng 777thẻ bài onlinedu doan mn 888soi cầu miền nam vipsoi cầu mt vipdàn de hôm nay7 cao thủ chốt sốsoi cau mien phi 7777 cao thủ chốt số nức tiếng3 càng miền bắcrồng bạch kim 777dàn de bất bạion newsddxsmn188betw88w88789bettf88sin88suvipsunwintf88five8812betsv88vn88Top 10 nhà cái uy tínsky88iwinlucky88nhacaisin88oxbetm88vn88w88789betiwinf8betrio66rio66lucky88oxbetvn88188bet789betMay-88five88one88sin88bk88xbetoxbetMU88188BETSV88RIO66ONBET88188betM88M88SV88Jun-68Jun-88one88iwinv9betw388OXBETw388w388onbetonbetonbetonbet88onbet88onbet88onbet88onbetonbetonbetonbetqh88mu88Nhà cái uy tínpog79vp777vp777vipbetvipbetuk88uk88typhu88typhu88tk88tk88sm66sm66me88me888live8live8livesm66me88win798livesm66me88win79pog79pog79vp777vp777uk88uk88tk88tk88luck8luck8kingbet86kingbet86k188k188hr99hr99123b8xbetvnvipbetsv66zbettaisunwin-vntyphu88vn138vwinvwinvi68ee881xbetrio66zbetvn138i9betvipfi88clubcf68onbet88ee88typhu88onbetonbetkhuyenmai12bet-moblie12betmoblietaimienphi247vi68clupcf68clupvipbeti9betqh88onb123onbefsoi cầunổ hũbắn cáđá gàđá gàgame bàicasinosoi cầuxóc đĩagame bàigiải mã giấc mơbầu cuaslot gamecasinonổ hủdàn đềBắn cácasinodàn đềnổ hũtài xỉuslot gamecasinobắn cáđá gàgame bàithể thaogame bàisoi cầukqsssoi cầucờ tướngbắn cágame bàixóc đĩa开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育亚新体育亚新体育亚新体育爱游戏爱游戏爱游戏华体会华体会华体会IM体育IM体育沙巴体育沙巴体育PM体育PM体育AG尊龙AG尊龙AG尊龙AG百家乐AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人<AG真人<皇冠体育皇冠体育PG电子PG电子万博体育万博体育KOK体育KOK体育欧宝体育江南体育江南体育江南体育半岛体育半岛体育半岛体育凯发娱乐凯发娱乐杏彩体育杏彩体育杏彩体育FB体育PM真人PM真人<米乐娱乐米乐娱乐天博体育天博体育开元棋牌开元棋牌j9九游会j9九游会开云体育AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人爱游戏华体会华体会im体育kok体育开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育欧宝体育ob体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育开云体育开云体育棋牌棋牌沙巴体育买球平台新葡京娱乐开云体育mu88qh88