Rating: (4 out of 5) [Critic’s Pick!] Saturday, 10/17/2009, 3:00 PM Feature presentation, $10 at Shakespeare Theatre’s Harman Center for the Arts
TONIGHT ON ”When Bad Titles Happen to Good Films” — Mr. Right, a charming story trapped behind a trite name. Will this funny and moving story overcome one of the most clichéd monikers in history? Stay tuned!
Seriously, whoever settled on the title Mr. Right for this project should be trapped in Drag Bingo purgatory. It sounds like a romp through online dating woes, when in reality it’s an insightful look at the ups and downs of three gay couples in London and how they impact each other. Despite the opening set-up — a woman complaining that she will never introduce another boyfriend to her gay friends because they might ”turn” him, too — this is truly just a frame for the real meat of the story.
Director Jacqui Morris keeps the pace of the movie at a fast clip and ensures that humor never overwhelms the stories. Written by David Morris (brother to the director), the film’s creaky concept of Louise (Georgia Zaris) narrating the story how she lost her Mr. Right is weak, and devolves into jokes about penchants for scented candles. Meanwhile, her gay male friends are dealing with betrayals and life-decisions on a far grander scale that demand greater interest.
Though it’s initially tough to keep track of all the quickly introduced characters and remember who is dating whom, by the end each has been developed with a clearly defined role. Whether it’s the rich artist keeping a scheming boy toy, the single dad balancing responsibility vs. love, or the failing actor who excels at being a cater-waiter, it’s hard to be ambivalent about any of them. Not all are likable and none of them are perfect — think Broken Hearts Club with a little more substance (or maybe it’s the just the accents that make it feel that way). Regardless, a good core story, some hunky actors, and amusing moments make Mr. Right a good choice for right now.
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