Reviews - Specialty Releases


Film Review: 28 Hotel Rooms

A mature, below-the-sheets look at love.

Nov 8, 2012

-By Duane Byrge


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1367148-28_Hotel_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

You expect to see subtitles when you view 28 Hotel Rooms: It's the kind of mature relationship film that the French can do so well. The narrative itself is the sort of thing where you hang out the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door.

Although it sounds facetious, this realistic romance might click with audiences more readily if dubbed into French and decked with subtitles. In short, it's what U.S. moviegoers would consider a foreign film.

Commercially, this incisive and tender look into the complexity of a relationship merits a select-site release. More realistically, it could entice cable distribution as an option for viewers who want their “Too Much for TV” option to include more than porn.

Starring Chris Messina and Marin Ireland as two professionals who hook up for a one-night stand while traveling for business, their tryst evolves into something more than a mere dalliance. That's a big surprise to both. And they're not quite sure what to do, but they both want to keep doing it.

In this perceptive “love” story, filmmaker Matt Ross spools out 28 one-night glimpses into their evolving relationship. It arcs from the romp of straight sex to the realization that they both like each other. Then, the personal story deepens with the dilemma that they are both in relationships. Ultimately, do they intend to be together outside the hotel room, and how long can they put off making that decision?

28 Hotel Rooms is enriched by Ross' facility to go against the grain, beginning with the characters: She is a corporate accountant; he is a popular novelist. He is verbal; she is guarded. In essence, easy definitions and expectations are never true in this intriguing portrait of two individuals who are in an organic relationship, which itself begins backwards: Sex first, no questions asked. Then friendship, then...what?

Both lovers are attractive and admirable in their individual ways. As the witty and charming novelist, Messina is a perceptive and decent guy. Messina's shaded performance smartly reveals a dark side, which, or course, appears when he is most fearful of losing “whatever it is that we're doing.” Ireland's expressive eyes and tentative, glowing smile convey a warm beauty. Yet, like her lover, she hardens when confronted with the realization that she can't leave her husband. Ultimately and appropriately, there is no pat ending or answer to this robust, delicate story.

Throughout, the technical crew's on-the-spot aesthetics are akin to prolonged foreplay: Cinematographer Doug Emmett's compositions and framings strip away any role-play façades, while editor Joseph Krings' apt cuts propel the ups and downs of the relationship. Stimulating, all the way.
The Hollywood Reporter


Film Review: 28 Hotel Rooms

A mature, below-the-sheets look at love.

Nov 8, 2012

-By Duane Byrge


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1367148-28_Hotel_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

You expect to see subtitles when you view 28 Hotel Rooms: It's the kind of mature relationship film that the French can do so well. The narrative itself is the sort of thing where you hang out the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door.

Although it sounds facetious, this realistic romance might click with audiences more readily if dubbed into French and decked with subtitles. In short, it's what U.S. moviegoers would consider a foreign film.

Commercially, this incisive and tender look into the complexity of a relationship merits a select-site release. More realistically, it could entice cable distribution as an option for viewers who want their “Too Much for TV” option to include more than porn.

Starring Chris Messina and Marin Ireland as two professionals who hook up for a one-night stand while traveling for business, their tryst evolves into something more than a mere dalliance. That's a big surprise to both. And they're not quite sure what to do, but they both want to keep doing it.

In this perceptive “love” story, filmmaker Matt Ross spools out 28 one-night glimpses into their evolving relationship. It arcs from the romp of straight sex to the realization that they both like each other. Then, the personal story deepens with the dilemma that they are both in relationships. Ultimately, do they intend to be together outside the hotel room, and how long can they put off making that decision?

28 Hotel Rooms is enriched by Ross' facility to go against the grain, beginning with the characters: She is a corporate accountant; he is a popular novelist. He is verbal; she is guarded. In essence, easy definitions and expectations are never true in this intriguing portrait of two individuals who are in an organic relationship, which itself begins backwards: Sex first, no questions asked. Then friendship, then...what?

Both lovers are attractive and admirable in their individual ways. As the witty and charming novelist, Messina is a perceptive and decent guy. Messina's shaded performance smartly reveals a dark side, which, or course, appears when he is most fearful of losing “whatever it is that we're doing.” Ireland's expressive eyes and tentative, glowing smile convey a warm beauty. Yet, like her lover, she hardens when confronted with the realization that she can't leave her husband. Ultimately and appropriately, there is no pat ending or answer to this robust, delicate story.

Throughout, the technical crew's on-the-spot aesthetics are akin to prolonged foreplay: Cinematographer Doug Emmett's compositions and framings strip away any role-play façades, while editor Joseph Krings' apt cuts propel the ups and downs of the relationship. Stimulating, all the way.
The Hollywood Reporter
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Specialty Releases

PK
Film Review: PK

An alien trying to return home tangles with religious authorities in a low-key Bollywood message drama. More »

A Small Section
Film Review: A Small Section of the World

Worthy but uninvolving documentary about the coffee-producing women of Costa Rica. More »

Sagrada
Film Review: Sagrada: The Mystery of Creation

The fabulous 130-year work-in-progress that is Barcelona's Sagrada Familia cathedral, as well as its crazy-brilliant originator, Antonio Gaudi, is the focus of this vividly informative documentary. More »

Inside the Mind of Leonardo
Film Review: Inside the Mind of Leonardo in 3D

Documentary-feature hybrid that offers unexpected insight into the world of Leonardo da Vinci, but nonetheless suffers from a heavy hand and pretentious sensibility. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

Into the Woods
Film Review: Into the Woods

Over-scaled, too dark and only intermittently charming Sondheim musical adaptation does a disservice to a great cast and is often so noisy you can't even appreciate the music. More »

The H obbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Film Review: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

After rewriting the rules for modern fantasy cinema, for the better and worse, Peter Jackson’s six-film Tolkien saga slams, bangs and shudders to a long-overdue conclusion. More »

Player for the Film Journal International website.


ADVERTISEMENT



INDUSTRY GUIDES

» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.

» Distribution Guide
» Equipment Guide
» Exhibition Guide

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

Film Journal International

Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.

» Click Here

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.

» Click Here