In Kyle Henry’s Chicago-based Rogers Park, an anniversary bash devolves into a sibling screaming match that kicks off a taut exploration of midlife crises. As they celebrate ten years, Zeke (Antoine McKay) gives Grace (Sara Sevigny) a sparkling ring in front of their friends, but she later needles him about the price tag until he admits that it’s actually cubic zirconia. The seemingly stable union that they perform in public actually teeters on the edge of ruin, plagued by financial and sexual woes threatening their long-standing union. Grace’s brother Chris (Jonny Mars) isn’t any better off, in part thanks to lasting trauma from their abusive father. He and his girlfriend, Deena (Christine Horn), are on rocky ground, too: Chris’s career as a navel-gazing writer hits a wall while Deena’s wandering eyes lead her into someone else’s bed. One night, over laced cupcakes and glasses flush with wine, everyone’s problems come to a tempestuous head.
Writer Carlos Treviño deftly crafts a compelling relationship drama out of what might have seemed like banal catastrophes. It helps, too, that cinematographer Drew Xanthopoulos trains plenty of close-ups on the understated quartet at this quiet indie’s center. Their interpersonal disasters could happen anywhere, but Henry showcases the very real neighborhood to great effect. There’s no sparkle in Rogers Park, but there’s enough charm in it to make it worthwhile to weather the brewing storm.
Directed by Kyle Henry
Opens April 27, Cinema Village
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This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 26, 2018