Thursday, 21 February 2013

REVIEW - 28 HOTEL ROOMS


Everything you already knew about conducting an affair in hotel rooms but were too afraid to try yourself. Don't worry, it looks pretty manageable from here. Marin Ireland and Chris Messina play a couple... well, there it is. They play a couple. Their relationship starts with sex, sure, but at least they know they'll always have that to fall back on. They keep meeting up for sex, and eventually forge a relationship out of their encounters. Their contact is depicted as being otherwise very limited, yet this relationship evolves like any other, with its peaks and troughs, highs and lows, good days and bad days. Having never participated in a long-term illicit affair in a variety of mid-range American hotel rooms, I'm no expert, but I'm of the opinion that such an unconventional love would be manifested in an unconventional way. There are moments of humour, emotional tension, nudity, all a mixed bag of mild flavours, none ever quite taking hold, resulting in a film that plays everything much too safe. Writer-director Matt Ross has assembled elements of other alternative indie love stories and smoothed out their creases, stitching them together with a structural device that is pitched as a quirk, but ends up as only a frustration. Ireland and Messina hit nary a false note between them, but with material so unchallenging, it'd be a shock if they did.