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Ex-Girlfriends

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Ex-Girlfriends
Written and directed by Alexander Poe
Film Buff
Opens November 28
Cinema Village
Available on iTunes and On Demand

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The callow behavior that characterizes Ex-Girlfriends' lead would be less maddening had writer/director/star Alexander Poe firmly decided how to portray the bedroom follies of youth. In this wispy indie romantic comedy, Poe plays Graham, a college student whose autobiographical short stories are not appreciated by his snotty peers, who balk at their contrivance and lack of strong character detail. Based on the evidence of Poe's film, both criticisms seem apt. Graham is wracked with indecision, especially once he finds out that Laura (Kristen Connolly), his ex-girlfriend, is now seeing Tom (Noah Bean), who is also sleeping with Kate (Jennifer Carpenter), another one of Graham's ex-girlfriends. Graham's self-deluding schemes to win Laura back are both played for yuks and for painfully earnest sympathy. Worse still, tortuous voiceover narration details both Graham's immediate fears, as when he ponders whether he should unfriend Laura on Facebook or just hide her information feed, and his finite perspective, as when he concludes that getting back together with Laura would be unwise: "That wouldn't have been the answer, just a new entanglement to fall into." Unfortunately, even with Kate's help, Graham's plans to get Laura back are neither inventive nor thoughtful enough to be memorable. Poe's wooden performance is appropriate because he acts like he's sleepily performing in a rehearsal for his own life. But his writing and direction confuse self-consciousness with self-awareness.

 
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