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Mainstream - Broken English

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Broken English
Parker Posey, Melvil Poupaud, Justin Theroux
Directed by Zoe Cassavetes
Peace Arch Entertainment 2008
98 minutes

Parker Posey is a great actress who usually appears in weird, small budget, indie movies. In the Broken English DVD she gets to play the romance movie lovelorn gal and that is the only thing that makes this movie worth watching. Broken English is not really awful fare but it is eminently uninteresting. It bills itself as a romantic comedy but it is more of a relationship story than a comedy. Unfortunately and for some reason I cannot fathom this film looks totally washed out in an old VHS tape kind of way.

In Broken English, your basic single gal on a quest for Mr. Right flick,  Parker Posey plays Nora Wilder, a woman in her early thirties who is a facilitator at a New York hotel. Her quest for a nice guy is taking a toll on her self esteem. She goes to a party where Julien, your basic Hollywood movie always smoking Frenchman, pushes himself into her life over a weekend. Something happens over that weekend and halfway through the movie: Norah is with Julien and meets an old friend or something and Norah has a panic attack. Unfortunately, the dialogue is not clear so I never understood why

Some time after that and a few changes in Nora's life Broken English throws in a major Deus Ex Machina device to get its story somewhere, in this case Paris. Lord knows, by the way, why the soundtrack features Spanish music when the movie is in Paris. The movie then indulges in a totally bizarre French café scene where Norah says a whole bunch of unwarranted things about French men and their mothers based on her one day experience in Paris.

I also could not help by thinking again and again that the solution to Nora's problem was just another phone call to New York away so there goes willing suspension of disbelief. The last 10 minutes of Broken English are really, really a bit much.

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