Friday, April 27, 2012

XX/XY (2002)

Theatrical Poster
Source: IMP Awards
Three college friends meet up in later life.

During a college party Coles (Mark Ruffalo) meets Sam (Maya Stange) and Thea (Kathleen Robertson) and after a passionate night, the three of them start an awkward romance. As Sam and Coles get ever closer, Thea begins to go off the norm until they eventually part ways.

Eight years later the threesome meet up again and are forced to face feelings that they couldn't admit as students. Each of them is in a very different social position than before, but it appears that it is not very easy to forget the past.

XX/XY is a foray into the lesser documented world of complicated relationships. As expected, it contains more than its fair share of passion and sex, but without really allowing empathy for any of the three main characters.

The audience are thrown straight into the film, beginning with the party where the three friends meet. It carries on at full steam and before you know it the film has moved through an entire year of seasons and has arrived eight years in the future. Because of this relentless pace, the first half of the film make for very difficult viewing, especially as the situation frequently changes between the protagonists.

The second half slows down to a reasonable pace, allowing the actors to, well, act. Mark Ruffalo does a decent job with the role of Coles, getting across his inner turmoil at seeing his old flame. Kathleen Robertson is barely recognisable - in a good way - as Thea has ditched her old life, but there is something about Maya Stange in the future that really irritates me. Perhaps it is in her character's arrogance.

Regardless of its upturn in fortunes, the ending of the film isn't overly thought out; Cole's girlfriend gives him and ultimatum before changing her mind 30 seconds later. It is a shame, because the film was heading for a decent scoring as it suckered me into enjoying the second half (despite wondering how three friends who haven't seen each other for eight years can become so close straight away).

It is all perfectly enjoyable, but just don't expect parts of the storyline to make real sense.

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