Friday, April 16, 2010

"Easier With Practice" Review

“Easier With Practice” tells the true story of Davy Rothbart (Brian Geraghty), the creator of FOUND Magazine, who receives a mysterious and random phone call while staying in a cheap motel. On the other end of the line is a woman named Nicole (Katie Aselton) who manages to engage Davy into an awkward session of phone sex. As odd as it would appear, Nicole and Davy seem to make some sort of connection with one another and the phone sex relationship continues thereafter.

This all occurs while Davy is on the road promoting his book of short stories. Complicating matters is that his brother Sean (Kel O’Neill) is along for the ride. During the course of the road trip, Sean gets suspicious of Davy’s distant behavior related to the mysterious phone calls his brother is receiving. Davy’s conversations with Nicole become increasingly personal, prompting Davy to ask for a meet-up. Nicole tells Davy that is not going to happen. She also refuses to give him her call back number. In essence, Davy remains isolated despite the intimate moments he shares over the phone.

The complicated phone love continues for Davy when he finishes the tour and arrives back at home. He is unable to focus on his day to day life because of his minor obsession with Nicole. This even affects his opportunity to reconnect with a romantic interested named Samantha (Marguerite Moreau). It doesn’t take a detective to see that the situation is nothing more than a personal mess that Davy needs to sort out. The movie follows him as he copes with the consequences of the world’s most unorthodox relationship.

“Easier with Practice” is the first completed work of writer and director Kyle Alvarez. You would never guess that it was Alvarez’s first efforts in writing or directing. The movie has a solid story that would have been difficult to shoot if the director didn’t understand the feelings that needed to be portrayed. Alvaraz manages to visually display Davy’s isolation and thus lets the film justify such a messed up phone sex arrangement. He also manages to convey an awkward feeling for nearly all 100 minutes of the film’s running time. You can’t help but wait for the bottom to fall out on Davy.

Brian Geraghty manages to convey his character of Davy as sympathetic rather than creepy. Not that someone having phone sex should be seen as creepy, but there is a natural tendency to see the act as unnatural. We are able to see the emotion and depth behind Davys actions. A lot of actors would fail to pull of this role because they would make is seem way too comedic. That is the key importance for “Easier With Practice” to work as a whole. Although the story is farfetched and unbelievable, the story comes off as plausible. As a viewer, I was able to root for Davy rather than be appalled by his actions. This is a grand accomplishment for both the actor and director.

Apparently this movie is available on DVD. If you are looking for a movie with a little depth and a quirky sensibility, then “Easier With Practice” could be a solid rental for you. It supplies a dramatic tone overall, but understands that there is some humor to be found in Davy’s situation. There are several good laughs and the story is engaging enough to follow through the end. I definitely suggest that you do watch the entire movie because the payoff is well worth it.

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