WALKING AND TALKING is another one of those talkfest shows. With
the right script these can be among the most enjoyable and rewarding of
any cinematic experience. From MY DINNER WITH ANDRE to DINER to BEFORE
SUNRISE, this is a genre of which I have always been especially fond.
Thanks to an energetic cast this movie tries hard and almost delivers.
Sad to say that the directing and writing by Nicole Holofcener is not
of the same caliber. This is not a bad show just a disappointing one.
It is one that keeps your attention and never drags.
WALKING AND TALKING starts with two preteen girls reading "The Joy
of Sex" together in bed. They are enthralled with it, but after this
brief scene we cut to them grown up and still friends. They are just
as much interested in sex, but only one of them has been lucky in love,
and the other is jealous.
Amelia (Catherine Keener who starred LIVING IN OBLIVION) and Laura
(Anne Heche who played Juliet in THE JUROR) are two attractive young
women. Laura is living with her fiance Frank (Todd Field who played
Beltzer in TWISTER). They all live in New York City. Amelia works in
the newspaper classified section, Laura is an apprentice therapist, and
Frank designs costume jewelry including "men's leisure rings."
Amelia was once almost lucky in love. Her ex-boyfriend, Andrew
(Liev Schreiber from DENISE CALLS UP), and she are still friends, but
neither can figure out why they broke up. Their conversations trying
to figure it out are among the best in the show. There is also a
running gag about his having phone sex with this woman in San
Francisco. Amelia does not approve, especially when he tries to borrow
money from her to pay his enormous phone bill.
Into Amelia's life comes an ugly guy, Bill (Kevin Corrigan), who
works at her local video store, and who is heavily into the horror
movie production business. Laura and Frank jokingly encourage her
friendship with Bill since he is so ugly, she will not have to worry
about any commitments. A good one-night stand for her.
The show is so completely natural that it borders on
amateurishness at times. The actors are all good, and it is an
ensemble cast, but, on the whole, the show promises more than it
delivers. The script is just not intelligent enough, and there are no
memorable lines. I like the characters and the acting, but there is
just not quite enough there.
WALKING AND TALKING runs 1:30. It is rated R. There is more bad
language than there needs to be, and there is a single brief drug
scene. There is no sex, nudity, or violence. Even the skinny-dipping
scene is done with their underwear on. The show would be fine for any
teenager. It is a marginal call, but there is not enough substance for
me to be able to recommend it. I give it **.
Copyright © 1996 Steve Rhodes