A “slice of life” comedy about Amelia (Catherine Keener) as she attempts to bring her life up to speed with the unwelcome changes that surround her. (logline)
Amelia’s life has been pretty rough lately. Her best friend recently moved out of their apartment and is getting married. Her cat has been diagnosed with cancer — and treatment costs are high and success rate is uncertain. Her porn-addicted ex-boyfriend occasionally steals her money to finance his long distance “phone sex relationship”. Her dating life is so nonexistent that she’s considered going out with the creepy video store clerk.
…Did I mention her best friend is getting married?
Now, this is not the grossly sentimental flick you might be picturing after reading that. It may flirt with it once or twice, but thankfully manages to stay clear of romantic comedy cliché. Most of this can be attributed to a carefully crafted script from (at the time) first-time director Nicole Holofcener, who unfortunately still suffers from being largely under appreciated.
Yes, Walking and Talking is a bit of a “chick flick”, but guys are allowed here. It’s safe. I promise. Where Holofcener succeeds in broadening the audience for the film is how the emphasis is placed on the relationships between engaging and real-life characters. We’ve all met people like the ones in Walking and Talking, and each actor does a wonderful job in their respective portrayal. In particular, Keener gives one of her best performances, and proves that she deserves much more name recognition than she typically receives.
There’s quite a bit of wit to be found in the writing, and more often than not, it’s an interesting, “real life” type of wit — simply put, it’s not UNBELIEVABLY witty. The conversations sound like those held by actual intelligent, fun adults, rather than the type of conversations a screenwriter THINKS actual intelligent, fun adults have.
There may not be a ton to the film plot wise, but there honestly doesn’t need to be. The film thrives on a light touch to the source material, and doesn’t beat the viewer over the head. We’re simply along for the ride. It’s simple. Pleasant. Charming.
In the end, this film will live and die on whether or not the viewer can identify with the characters and their situations — and the vast majority will, given the clever writing techniques. Lively, fun and (thankfully) not overflowing with sap, Walking and Talking brings a welcome and nostalgic 90s touch, and succeeds in being a fun date night movie that both parties can enjoy.
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