The Young Girl and the Monsoon (2001)
Actor and author of the well-regarded book Screenwriting from the Heart, James Ryan makes his directorial debut with this character-driven romantic comedy. The film focuses on respected photojournalist and divorced father Hank (Terry Kinney), who has a proclivity toward covering remote and dangerous trouble spots, much to the irritation of his 13-year-old daughter Constance (Ellen Muth). At the same time, something seems to be gnawing at Hank. On the homefront, he is reluctant to commit to his beautiful 26-year-old girlfriend Erin (Mili Avital), while at work, he is equally hesitant to campaign for a prestigious Humanitas award for his photographs. Things come to a head when Constance comes to live with Hank while her mother goes on a three-month long honeymoon. This film was screened at the 2000 L.A. Independent Film Festival. … More
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Critic Reviews for The Young Girl and the Monsoon
Kinney is solid, as usual, but it is young Muth who gobbles up the screen.
This scattershot little movie doesn't have nearly enough going on in it.
A fine example of how a character-based story can be so compelling you don't miss the frills.
The strength of the film lies in Ryan's ability to make us care about all of his characters and to make them highly credible and specific.
One's admiration for the filmmaker's familial concerns offsets many of its shortcomings.
Crackles dangerously to life whenever Constance (who narrates the film) is on the screen with her father Hank.
Actors move as though they were confined to a small space, hindering their expressive ability.
It's clear that writer-director James Ryan views his characters through a highly self-indulgent lens.
It's incessantly verbose, so stuffed with explanation and exposition it's as if Ryan finds the idea of even the most basic visual expression unwarranted.
Writer and director James Ryan invests this touching drama with emotional power and deft psychological nuances.
Ryan hits and misses, but when he's on, he shows an insight for how people reveal themselves subconsciously in the quick of the moment.
A story that isn't as yawn-worthy as it is wholly unconvincing, both as a premise and a recognizable representation of something real and tangible.
Obviously the work of a playwright, this is not at all cinematic.
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