RATING (0 to ****): **1/2
Edward Burns can't find a distributor for his film "Purple Violets"! What will he do? Well, it's amazing how much a gimmick sells, and becoming the world's first direct-to-iTunes flick has earned this otherwise-unknown indie somewhere around the #2 top-selling spot.
While $14.99 is far too much for a film like this when you're not talking about store credit, "Purple Violets" is actually not an awful film. If more direct-to-iTunes films are like this, then perhaps it won't have the stench created by "direct-to-video". But that's by far the best thing about it; its not earning a distributor is not surprising, but rather, that many other indies of this quality actually make it into our theaters.
If you've evaluated the plot about the struggling writer (Patrick Wilson), the affairs and his snobbish, pseudo-intellectual ramblings, this might remind you of a Woody Allen film- only that it's missing our favorite neurotic, and while Allen usually satirizes his character's snobbery, Burns finds it to being an admirable trait. This can get annoying at times, although it does result in hilarity at least once, when the writer's crackhead girlfriend argues about the poetry of music over literature, claiming that Kurt Cobain is a genius. When he responds, "Maybe, but 'Sounds Like Teen Spirit' has nothing on 'The Great Gatsby'", she's completely puzzled as to what kind of song that is.
The more comedic of the two subplots involves the writer's intellectually-devoid lawyer (Burns) and his attempts to get back together with his ex-girlfriend (Debra Messing from "Will & Grace"), still pissed after 12 years ago when he apparently cheated on her. Even so, I still don't remember many of the laughs from "Purple Violets", so maybe you're better off waiting for when you can rent it, or watch it from your friend's iPod.
MPAA: Not Rated (but would be R for language)
Runtime: 1 hour, 47 minutes (104 minutes of "real movie")