Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Easier With Practice (2009/2010)

Easier With Practice

A moving story based on a GQ article by Davy Rothbart. The story follows a guy (appropriately named Davy) who writes short stories and reads them in various small towns in New Mexico at bars and coffee houses, with his brother accompanying him. One night he receives an anonymous phone call from a woman in his hotel room. The woman seemingly wants phone sex as a way to break away from her less than satisfying love and sex life with her boyfriend.

This lasts for a number of weeks, and in the process Davy ends up developing feelings for her. But the woman calls from a private number and never gives Davy her phone number.

Their situation ultimately becomes frustrating for Davy and the calling stops. But eventually they reconnect and plan to meet in person. When they do, what happens is not an entirely uncommon situation, especially in the Internet-age of anonymous connections. The woman, Nicole, is actually a man named Aaron. A gay man of course too. As real as the whole thing was for Davy, it still ended up being a fantasy that didn't live up to in reality, everything it gave in the fantasy.

The writing, characters (especially the Davy character played by Brian Geraghty) were very effective. Marguerite Moreau even was good as a support character, as well as Davy's brother Sean, played by Kel O'Neill. And the actor who played Aaron, Euegene Byrd, was rather good in the key final scene. However, as effective as Katie Aselton was doing the voice of Nicole on the phone calls to Davy, I see the casting of her, and her pretty clearly feminine voice, a bit of a stretch. We knew it was a woman on the phone doing the voice. There are men who can do female voices well, but not like the sound of hers. If there is one issue with this picture, it is/was it's casting of her. They could have either had the actor who played Aaron actually do the Nicole voice, or another man do it.

But save for that minor issue, this is as impressive and moving a film as it's been praised for by many in the Independent Cinema industry. And I would very much recommend trying to see it, especially if you or someone you know has ever been involved in an anonymous 2-dimensional relationship. Namely online through instant messaging, email, telephone (like in this story), or even the old fashioned pen-pal process. You may find some relate-ability with seeing this as I can confess to personally doing myself (many years ago especially and thankfully).