Reel Affirmations 2003
Rating: (2 out of 5)
Saturday, 10/18/2003, 5:00 PM
Feature presentation, $9 at Lincoln Theatre
AN ADMISSION of bias: I went to a small, Virginia college that had been all-male for the prior 200-plus years, and as such is one of the two or so schools that could have been the setting for Eden’s Curve, which is based on the true story of a friend of director Anne Misawa. In this case, the bias is a good thing — the verisimilitude of Misawa’s portrayal of the southern fraternity milieu felt all-too-real at times.
Unfortunately, the actual story didn’t feel real enough.
It’s 1972, and Peter (Sam Levine) is just starting his freshman year, immediately joining and moving into a fraternity house, where he becomes romantically and sexually entangled with his roommate Joe, and Joe’s girlfriend Bess. When the obviously repressed Joe violently freaks out, Peter ends up in the Walden-esque riverside shack of his poetry professor, Ian (Julio Perillan). Meanwhile, smack addict and southern gentleman Billy attempts to protect Peter from Joe by spouting some of the most stilted dialogue to grace this year’s festival.
Intermittently interesting, Eden’s Curve is just too precious in its telling of the central relationship. Levine’s Peter is so clean-cut he always looks like he just stepped out of the shower, and Perillan manages to maintain his handsome looks underneath a ridiculous mane of seventies hair, but their motivations and actions are often perplexing. First-time director Misawa has a fine flair for capturing the look and feel of her settings, but spends far too much time meandering around with blurred, jerky montages that rob the film of what momentum it does have.