Easier with Practice (2009)
Critic Consensus: This promising debut from writer-director Kyle Patrick Alvarez is anchored by a startlingly honest and tender performance from Brian Geraghty that helps make Easier with Practice more than just another road trip drama.
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Critic Reviews for Easier with Practice
There's no doubting Alvarez's promise, as he weaves familiar indie elements into a film that is likeable, insightful and compelling.
An unexpectedly stirring first feature by Kyle Patrick Alvarez about the challenges of making human connections in the weird and wired 21st century.
Amusingly predicated on the romantic possibilities of phone sex, Easier With Practice pushes past its titillating premise to become a quietly provocative love story about emotionally stunted manhood and the risks some guys will take to connect.
Geraghty relies too heavily on facial expressions and mannerisms, but those who appreciate visible effort may be seduced.
Easier With Practice reveals the sense of loneliness and isolation that permeates modern life and the lure of fantasy in filling its emptiness.
Geraghty's wounded-pup appeal keeps the movie alive even as it heads for a dreary, even-more-implausible-than-the-setup third act. Writer-director Kyle Patrick Alvarez, though, usually finds the right tone and appears to have a promising future.
Audience Reviews for Easier with Practice
In "Easier with Practice," Davy(Brian Geraghty) is on his not quite sold out tour of New Mexico bookstores, peddling his collection of short stories, and accompanied by his brother Sean(Kel O'Neill). One night, while Sean steps out, Davy answers the phone and talks to a woman he does not know named Nicole(Kathryn Aselton). What originally starts as a wrong number soon turns erotic for both parties. And that's not the only time they talk. While "Easier with Practice" starts badly and ends much worse, about ten minutes beyond the point of no return in overexplaining who Nicole is/isn't, there is still a thoughtful movie in between about loneliness and a character study about somebody who is so damaged that he can be lonely in crowded room. It's interesting to note that none of this exactly happens in a vacuum, with the movie gradually revealing Davy's backstory as it goes on.
Superb, slow burning true story told with humanity and poignancy. It's remarkable that would easily could have been an exploitative, overblown thriller is instead a deeply touching, profound and empathetic small scale drama. Acted and written with honesty, this is a largely undiscovered gem of a film.
Interesting counter point to 'Catfish', exploring similar territory about loneliness, identity and our need to connect. Builds in a similar way to the eventual meeting which wrongfooted me and then has the conviction to hold out for a truthful ending.
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