28 Hotel Rooms Reviews
Strong resemblance to 'Same Time, Next Year' with Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn, 1978.
She is from Seattle; he is based in New York. He is a novelist; she is a data miner. They travel in their work and meet now and then. They are rather guarded about their personal information, but are obviously attracted to one another. They get to know each other over time. She reads his book and likes it.
Eventually they talk about anything and everything. Their careers change over time. They discuss the meaning of what they do. They deal with life events.
When he is about to get married (she has been for some time), they talk about dropping their mates and marrying each other. But somehow it does not happen.
They have some tough times as well, such as when they talk about why they have not married each other. The ambivalence shines through again.
Some of their pretend conversations about possible lives together are fantasy, but still priceless. The acting by Chris Messina and Marin Ireland was very nuanced.
She gets pregnant, and decides to rear the child with her husband of record. Both of them have trouble dealing with it, but it's the decision that involves the least damage. Other changes come along, like his inability to drink coffee, due to a stomach condition.
Will they keep meeting, or will their married lives force that tradition to break?
Cinematography: 9/10 Fine, except for the occasional camera shake.
Sound: 9/10 No problems.
Acting: 10/10 The two principals are quite good.
Screenplay: 9/10 Well told evolution of a long-lasting affair between two people who are more than friends.
What I like most about the film is the sharp focus on the room(s) and particularly the bed, the supposedly neutral but freighted with significance mental and physical space in which the heaven and hell of being humans together is played out in truly intimate detail. It could well have been a one-note film school sketch stretched beyond it's limit, but here the room becomes a crucible for a 28 scene one act play that does exactly what we (should) want all theatre to do: show us who we are.
I will agree though that the ending could have been stronger, or at least more consistent with the rest of the performance. It felt like something tacked on to satisfy a studio exec, a hint of a moral or happy ending. I'd rather just be left not knowing. But this is a film that should be seen.