‘Looking for Kitty’


Clearly, Ed Burns feels he has something to say about working-class New York Irish guys and their beery romantic problems, but after seven low-budget, Woody Allen–on-Guinness projects I’ll be goddamned if I know what that is. The sixth, in limbo for over two years, Looking for Kitty is actually the most bearable indulgence from the Burns oeuvre yet, thanks largely to a narrowing of the field—no overlay of thin story threads, just a simple investigative trajectory with two fellas talking—and the presence of David Krumholtz as a rejected husband in search of an errant wife with Burns’s tetchy PI. An underappreciated but busy local boy with a scientist’s eye for semi-disclosed behavior, Krumholtz gives even Burns’s 2-D dialogue an emotional life; his Abe is an obsessive high school baseball coach in perpetual self-sell, wounded but frisky and thoroughly trained in everyjock congeniality. It might be the most maturely conceived role in Burns’s films, but the plot around it is flimsy, the visual storytelling simpleminded, and the general ideas for character one-note. At 78 minutes, the movie says howdy, rewards little, and does not test its welcome.