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Easier With Practice
UKScreen Rating:

Easier With Practice – Review

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Short story writer Davy (Brian Geraghty) is on a book tour of New Mexico, reading passages from his stories to small-town groupies and wannabe authors in bars across the state.
His brother Sean (Kel O’Neill) comes along for the ride, not so much to offer any kind of fraternal support, but to give him a break from his girlfriend and to enjoy the women they meet en route.
Davy is shy and although he gets offers too, he can’t bring himself to take them, so when his mobile rings one evening and a sexy-sounding woman, Nicole, starts talking dirty to him, he goes with the flow.
Before long, she’s phoning again and again and he’s slipping off to have phone sex with her. She won’t ever let him call her – in case her boyfriend answers, she says. Nevertheless, this is the closest Davy has come to having a relationship that he can remember.
With the book tour over, the brothers return home and real life resumes. Sean is back with his girlfriend, as if nothing has happened and Davy is still trying to persuade his secret lover to meet up with him – or at least give him her number.
Unable to relate to people in the real world, when he meets a woman who’s clearly perfect for him at a party, he ultimately rejects her to pursue the forbidden fruits of the non-relationship with Nicole.
Having rejected Miss Right, he stops getting calls from Nicole. He feels bereft. Until finally, Nicole calls again, and this time, he won’t let it go – her persuades her to let him come and visit her. But when did the path of true love ever run smoothly in independent American cinema?

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

Any penniless film-maker who sits down to come up with an idea for their no budget debut feature would be delighted to stumble upon such a simple and cheap concept – most of this film is just one actor, walking around, talking into his phone. In his car. In his house. In a motel car-park. In a bar.
The story unfolds like a simple fantasy – and although things are necessarily (and acceptably) taken to extremes for dramatic purposes, Geraghty’s performance is touching enough for us to feel his pain, alienation and craving for, but inability to accept love.
Setting and shooting it in New Mexico would only have made it even cheaper, as the state has particularly helpful tax incentives.
The problem is that the story is perhaps so simple that it begins to feel tiresome and repetitive as it edges inexorably towards a conclusion that might surprise you, but fails to convince.
It might have made an impressive short film, but it can’t really sustain a feature as effectively, and its disappointing denouement detracts further from the impressively positive start.
But perhaps one of the worst thing about the film is an attempt to lure viewers by promoting it as starring Brian Geraghty from The Hurt Locker. Really? If you liked a tense thriller about a bomb disposal squad, you’ll want to see a small drama about a loser who falls in love with a wrong number? Really?

Opens nationwide on 3rd December 2010

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