Easier with Practice - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Easier with Practice Reviews

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Super Reviewer
April 13, 2015
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.
½ November 8, 2014
Interesting premise is weighted down by the leisurely pace.
½ February 21, 2014
Easier with Practice (Kyle Patrick Alvarez, 2009)

There is a lot about Easier with Practice to like; it feels like (and, really, it is) the kind of story that a stranger sitting next to you in the bar, with whom you've struck up a conversation because there's nothing better to do and the TV is turned to baseball yet again, tells you out of the blue in order to get it off his chest. That feeling carries through into the film realm very well, at least it does in this picture. The problem is that, as the story goes on, you get a very distinct feeling that perhaps the nice guy sitting next to you is maybe not quite as nice as he may have at first seemed. Now, it's entirely possible to paint this in a good light-he's being as honest as he can be about his feelings and reactions to the situation in which he finds himself, and any therapist worth his or her salt will tell you that you can't effectively process this sort of stuff without being entirely honest with yourself. On the other hand, when you show it to outsiders, to people who weren't there, the urge to whitewash things, to make yourself look better, is sometimes best followed. (That it might well have changed the ending of the story here is irrelevant.)

As we open, Davy Mitchell (ATM's Brian Geraghty), a budding novelist, is on media's most depressing book tour with his brother Sean (Pulse's Kel O'Neill). They've financed the entire thing themselves, they're halfway across the country, they're near-broke, and they're not selling anything out of that trunkful of books. (As a side note, the movie is based on a GQ article by Davy Rothbart, who had a version of this story actually happen to him while he was touring Found exactly like this. I found that bit the most believable part of the story, for those of you reading this somewhere where the book title is a link to my review of Found.) One night, in a generic, nameless motel, he gets a call from breathy-voiced Nicole (Black Rock's Katie Aselton). They have phone sex, which eventually develops into a relationship. Nicole refuses to meet Davy in the flesh, which leads to the question-can you have a relationship with someone you have never seen?

One of the movie's problems is that that question has been a kind of ridiculous one since, oh, two or three years after the world wide web went global (for those of you too young to remember, that happened in 1993). Which is not to say it can't still be asked-there is a movie that was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar this very morning that deals with the exact same question (Jan. 16, 2014, and Her, for the record). And maybe Alvarez, turning in his first feature, thought the story resonated more because it asks the same question with older tech (the relationship is carried on entirely by phone). That is important given an hour and a half long movie based on a four-page magazine article, because you've got to have something to fill up all that time before you get to the Big Twist(TM). Once you get past the gimmick and just see it as a relationship drama, things start cruising pretty smoothly again, but...then there's that Big Twist(TM). And when you put something like that out there, whether you filmed the truth or not, you're making a fictional piece based on a true story, and when you are doing that, it's worth considering that perhaps the true ending wasn't the right one. Your mileage may certainly vary, but to me, it wasn't, especially with the way Alvarez lensed that whole sequence-it's obvious to me that even he wanted the ending we didn't get. Did he feel constrained by the subject matter? That's the only explanation I can come up with.

Balancing this out are some very good performances. Geraghty reminds us why we like him in military-movie roles, if you soured on him after watching ATM. O'Neill makes a good comic foil, and even the minor parts are generally well-cast. If only Alvarez had had someone to slap some sense into him about that last sequence... ** 1/2
½ August 11, 2013
Nu reuseste sa rezolve situatia creata
May 25, 2013
A hidden gem from the independent scene.
½ October 18, 2012
slow creeky and disinteresting
August 21, 2012
a very slow movie with a twist ending but not really conclusive, quite well played but still letting you think a little that their is something more...
Super Reviewer
August 19, 2012
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.
July 4, 2012
it is like a mirror reflecting on something really deep into the heart.
½ March 24, 2012
Wasn't sure about this at first but wound up being really moved by it. Think I spotted the real Davy (on whose true story this film was incredibly based) during a party scene. Killer last 20 minutes or so.
February 19, 2012
The unexpected ending just threw me off. If you loved Catfish, you'd love this.
December 11, 2011
Brilliant. You know from the beginning that the reveal is going to be rough, but how the character handles it makes him a hero. Great surprise.
½ October 29, 2011
Agree with Gordon A!
½ September 20, 2011
This film was difficult to watch due to my uncomfortableness with watching sex, especially phone sex. It took me a couple tries but I finally got past that and found myself fully engrossed with this film. "Easier with Practice" deals with a multitude of emotions we all experience in regards to relationships except it does it in an unusual way: through anonymous phone"dating." Feelings of isolation are exemplified, as well as distance. The film illustrates the importance of control and how that fits with inadequacy. The gender role reversals are superb. This film challenges the struggle between fantasy vs. reality. The focus on needing a reason, a driving force to go on keeps you compelled. Anyone who's ever felt alone should watch this film. It may not make you happier, or feel better in the end, but you will find comfort in the companionship.
July 26, 2011
Kept me guessing who was on the other end. Disappointed in the ending though. Confused with title.
July 20, 2011
Pretty awesome soundtrack.
June 29, 2011
Great little independent film..this is a film that has gotten some great reviews but few have seen it.. the final scene has some of the best acting i've seen in quite a few years...
May 18, 2011
In different manners, we all create our own fantasies- striving to make them a reality. Sometimes the healthiest thing to do is take a step back before we become engulfed; que sera.
May 16, 2011
brilliant film. Geraghty very honestly displays the natural discomfort and awkwardness true to many individuals. I found the story of Aaron very upsetting and true. Wish it had been a bit more centred in the film. Would have loved the film if it went into the social improvments after his and Davy's encounter. As I would hope they learned to be comfortanble in their skin.
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