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  • when being an independent film is just a moniker
    The movie starts out slow and explores the relationship of tow people who seemingly love each other but make the other miserable. It then fast forwards to ten years later when the principles reunite and truly test their love and feelings for each other. The second half of the film is redeeming and really resonates at times. Overall, the film feels a bit too "indy" - as if it's trying too hard to not be mainstream and that's why it includes unconventional details....more info
  • XX/XY - Better Than Advertised
    XX/XY is really two movies in one. Though the characters are the same, they are at very different points in their lives. Perhaps this dual portrayal is part of the reason why this movie has gotten bashed when I think it should have been praised. The character acting and expert portrayals by a wonderful ensemble cast really cover over a story that has perhaps a few weaknesses in the plot and writing.

    This is one of those character study movies where the most important lines are left unspoken. That is probably the second biggest reason for the wide disappointment with this movie. Still, this is one movie where peeling beneath the surface yields a lot of great finds.

    The Story and the Script

    Mark Ruffalo's character is your run of the mill non-committal guy. Here they make his non-committal nature out to be a sin greater than infidelity or domestic violence. While the writer's value judgments are a stretch, Ruffalo's performance as Coles really carries this movie. Is it fun to watch his wishy washy portrayal for everybody? Probably not. But those who love acting and love getting inside the mind of actors will really enjoy seeing the incredible portrayal he has here that has completely flown under the radar.

    The first half of the movie is your typical young jerk and needy girls type of relationship fare. There are several scenes and sequences that are clearly left out of place, most likely by supporting sequences that have since been edited out or were never filmed. Still, there is a lot of foundation here. We see his relationship with the girl he chooses, Sam played by Maya Stange, and Thea, the one he keeps as a friend. Thea's character is also somewhat underdeveloped here.

    When things end, they end badly. Granted that ending scene is done in a way to seem pointless or at least confusing. Yet they get their point across with it.

    The second half of the movie is really what shines. We see his emotional neediness emerge as the women from his past return to his life. He tries to maintain *friendships* with them but the obvious friction creates the drama of the movie. The girlfriend he has been dating but not yet married is artfully portrayed by Petra Wright. While her total lines are few, she makes up for it by subtly building up her mood and a great fiery monologue.

    Mark Ruffalo is very impressive. All the characters seem to have been written in a way that required understated portrayals. Perhaps that is why some will feel this moves *slowly*.

    The four way (or in this case 5 way) relationship dynamics are bound to be compared to Closer, but they are really completely different movies. There is none of the extreme drama and exaggerated time elapsed emotion of Closer. Here we get to see these characters at two points in time, partly different and partly still the same.

    Once again, there are several scenes that seem to have been included for self indulgence (Such as the one with the passerby who recognizes him and berates him for his work). And there were a few story elements that are also silly (I don't want to give a spoiler, but at the end of the movie look who's closing the door as Ruffalo goes back in the apartment.

    Yet the resolution of the movie, while contrived, is made powerful by the strength of the actors really showing you the baseness of their characters.


    While I can't rate this film much higher than 3 or 4, I highly recommend it to actors and lovers of independent film. If you can look past the slow moving parts, like me you will find yourself returning to this one to study the intricacies of the portrayal. Perhaps not the greatest choice for the general movie watcher, but students of acting can learn a lot from this one. Definitely check it out.

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  • Love it or Hate it
    Most people will either love this film or hate it. I liked it. There's not much of a story but the character development and acting to achieve that development is first rate and enjoyable. If you want a love story and romance, nope it's not here. Look elsewhere. What is great about this movie is it manages to portray two completely different time periods with two different and raw emotions. First we have the irresponsible 20's with threesomes, free love and a laissez-faire attitude about life and relationships. Ten years later and things have settled down. The couples are portrayed as mature and responsible but two, Coles and Sam from ten years ago still have feelings and actually have sex in a heated moment which has repercussions later in the story.

    In the ending on another level we find all the couples are forced to find the true meaning of love. As mentioned in a previous paragraph, this is not a love story, romance or action adventure. To like this film you have to appreciate the level of emotion and character portrayal shown here in two distinct slices of time.

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  • about the DVDfilm/movie XX/XY
    The story is basically a group of tietiary student (1 men and two woman) having fun and get together and later after they came out to work during their working life and had their own boyfriend nver know that one of them meet back the man they met during their study/young days and later had sex with him to be accidentally caught by the man's girlfriend where later at the end of the film they live together after the rest of his lady friends with their boyfriends left the holiday rersort. Recommended to those whom are interested in this genre of film.


    Review by:

    Dr, MR Franc MBBS (PhD) GPS Ang Poon Kah
    director 'lou ye'- Ang Poon Kah for film summer palace.
    ...more info
  • The bad polyamory movie
    This movie is well acted and has an interesting story, but I keep wanting to slap the male character upside the head for being an idiot. I think of this as being the movie about how not to do polyamory. The characters are often not honest with themselves about how they feel, they use sex as a weapon against those they love and they often have hidden agendas that they refuse to reveal to the other participants in the relationship.

    I'm left feeling at the end that nobody has really successfully communicated what they want to anybody else. There is a sort of strange "The Age of Innocence" style denouement in which everybody sort of settles for what's socially acceptable instead of trying for what they really want....more info
  • Not bad, but not great either.
    This is an uneven movie about shallow self-centered people. Ruffalo does a repeat of his character in 'You can count on me' except this time he is practically irredeemable. He cheats on his lover and later his live-in girlfriend, and never has the guts to communicate honestly about it with either one. The highlight of the film is Petra Wright who plays Claire (The live-in girlfriend). She is vivid as a beautiful, smart, self-possessed, kind, and gentle woman. And this is where the movie lost me, right at the end. There is no way a woman like this is going to forgive a coward who cheats on her, lies about it repeatedly, and basically has no respect for her. In real life, she would just walk away and find someone much better! I guess the director didn't really have the guts to end this movie realistically, but chose instead to go for the 'happy' ending, wherein the woman forgives the cheating man (again), and the cowardly cheating man gets away with it (again)....more info
  • A haunting slice of life
    XX/XY is compelling because it initially makes extraordinary situations seem strangely commonplace as we are drawn into the lives of three confused soulmates. Then, it leaps forward into the future and we watch the trio reunite unexpectedly, with tension, relief, and ultimately grief. Ruffalo is mesmerizing....more info
  • Refreshing surprise...
    This is a fascinating movie about the specifics of relationships, the details that are usually lost in most films. It is a rare treat, well acted, beautifully shot and production designed, artfully directed. It is one of those films that you wish you could see for the first time over and over again,...more info
  • Ruffalo does his Brando thing, while the film goes nowhere.
    I really, really disliked Austin Chick's XX/XY. Though Mark Ruffalo is in it and again proves that he's very talented and capable of exuding this sort of mumbling burnout sensuality, I did not think most of the main characters, with the exception of the live-in girlfriend Claire who was introduced in the second half of the film, were at all well-developed. I thought the plot lacked direction, that the ending was an extreme let-down and that the entire film lacked a point.

    I left the theater annoyed, wishing that Ruffalo would find another vehicle for his talents like the wonderful YOU CAN COUNT ON ME....more info

  • Interesting character study
    An intriguing premise and a great cast are the high point of XX/XY. Unfortunately, neither the story nor the cast manages to reach their full potential, and a lot of what could have been is quickly lost. Despite its flaws, however, XX/XY still manages to entertain. It's a light and fluffy attempt at serious drama, bogged down by numerous scenes of our love triangle engaging in a threesome. Overall, it manages to succeed.

    Kathleen Robertson gives her usual performance (playing a similar character she portrayed in another film about a threesome, Greg Arakki's far superior SPLENDOR) but she's pretty darn good. There is definitely something about her that manages to brighten up a scene. She has such charisma and a charming personality, but unfortunately, her character is lost underneath the drama of the other two in love. I would have loved to have seen more done with her character.

    Mark Ruffallo is Coles, a former director with only one film to his credit, who is now a commercial artist. Maya Stange is Sam, the woman in the threesome he ultimately falls for. The three form an inseparable social group, doomed perhaps by their omnipresent sexual tension. Of course, things don't go as planned and their relationship quickly spirals out of control until its destruction.

    But 10 years later, with Coles now engaged, a chance encounter with Sam ignites old feelings and changes everything.

    XX/XY is that rare film where we grow to genuinely care about the characters. Their romantic troubles are portrayed with a refreshing, open honesty missing from most Hollywood films. The incisive acting of Ruffalo, Robertson and Stange convincingly makes the point that these still-young males and females are just as stunted and confused as the rest of us.

    XX/XY starts in the comfortingly familiar territory of out of control college kids, but writer/director Austin Chick has the confidence to push on and navigate the uncharted waters of reaching middle age. It all works well, aside from the fact that ten years later, these characters still look the same, maybe even better! However, the film itself is a great diversion from all the horrible films Hollywood throws our way, but definitely not for all tastes. This is a true independent film--dark, dreary, and slow, but fascinating and intriguing at the same time. There are better films out there, but hell, there have been a lot worse....more info

  • 2.5 stars
    I wavered back and forth about how I felt with this movie. It didn't pick up until halfway through. The first half was spent on how this couple met back in 93. He picked his soon-to-be girlfriend up at a subway station, and from then on, it was the typical party/rave/college atmosphere at Sarah Lawrence University. Kathleen Robertson plays the friend of the girlfriend, and she didn't stretch much when it comes to characters, because she seems to always play the bad girl/always up for a threesome. (See her character in Splendor, by Gregg Araki) Anyway, one of them sleeps with someone else, then, basically, it becomes a contest on who can [anger] the other off more.

    Ten years later, they meet again, her single, him living with someone for 5 years. Oh what a tangled web, you can guess what happens. But, I will say, that I love the character, Claire, (the only characters name I can remember) which is the boyfriends live in girlfriend for 5 years. Apparently, he has to decide, and she plays someone that I wish all of the women in the world (including me) should be. Strong, independant, and not falling apart if your boyfriend has unsure feelings. Basically, the guy gets what he deserves a little bit, but still ends up lucky....more info