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50

Mixed or average reviews - based on 9 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: There are three women in the Langley household: Vivien, the mother, is caught between a fierce independence and an almost agoraphobic attachment to home; seductive and confident Mel is a 19 year-old mirror of her mother; Maura, 22, is alienated, afraid and unable to pinpoint her place in the world. They live together in a seemingly close household, yet each is very much alone. The man of the house, Martin, left long ago to pursue a new way of life, but keeps shadow presence: he maintains a comfortable erotic tie to his ex-wife and a tentative relationship with Mel. Maura has all but shunned him. The family’s status quo explodes when Jeff walks into their comfortable yet dysfunctional world. Bright, handsome, ambitious and sure of his future at 22, he’s also socially awkward and a sexual novice who’s been Infatuated with Mel since high school. When they begin working together at the same restaurant, he jumps at the opportunity to finally start a romance with the free-spirited girl – but Mel has other ideas about their time together. Until then utterly convinced of his own decency, a confused Jeff suddenly finds himself gripped by desire he barely understands, and acting in ways that cross the line of right and wrong. Over the course of a week, he is swept up in the convoluted dynamics of Mel, Maura, and Vivien’s relationships with men, the world and each other. Manipulator and manipulated, seducer and seduced, accuser and accused, he is eventually turned into the common enemy when Martin finally steps up to the paternal plate, leading to a confrontation that results in both his and the Langley family's painful, yet hopeful, coming of age. (Twelve Thirty Productions) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 9
  2. Negative: 1 out of 9
  1. Reviewed by: Kevin Thomas
    Feb 3, 2011
    70
    aAn ambitious ensemble piece in which every actor is able to shine and every character is a master of the well-turned phrase.
  2. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    May 11, 2011
    63
    Here is an unsuccessful movie with some surprisingly successful scenes. It has moments when it is electrifying and passages where it slows to a walk.
  3. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Jan 13, 2011
    60
    Above all, it loves its characters and the actors who play them. A fearless, talented filmmaking auteur working on a limited budget, Mr. Lipsky insists on doing it his way and letting the chips fall where they may. More power to him.
  4. Reviewed by: Andrew Schenker
    Jan 11, 2011
    50
    A film more satisfying in occasional isolated moments than as a coherent dramatic entity.
  5. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Aug 11, 2011
    50
    There are scenes here and there that are worthy, but many that aren't. Lipsky tries to use dialogue to cover up weaknesses in other areas - such as why these people behave the way they do. Some of the movie is inviting, some of it off-putting.
  6. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    May 12, 2011
    50
    Jeff Lipsky invests this indie drama with admirable intelligence and insight, though these fine qualities are undermined by a sense of writerly artifice.
  7. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Jan 14, 2011
    38
    A wildly misanthropic and overlong black comedy.

See all 9 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 1 out of 1
  1. Mar 27, 2011
    2
    This was a mess of a movie. The dialogue didn't ring true, the plot was absurd, & most of the actors seemed to be acting alone, declaiming their lines, rather than working in an ensemble. I went to see "Twelve Thirty" because I had really liked "Flannel Pajamas," but this film was a great disappointment. Expand