Flirt (1996)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Flirt Photos

Movie Info

This episodic, internationally-produced drama from filmmaker Hal Hartley offers three variations on a singular theme: the romantic dilemma faced by a flirtatious lover when his primary partner begins asking for a real commitment. The first introduces the basic tale. Set in New York in early 1993, this segment was pared down from a 23-minute short film. Bill stands at a pay phone; his lover Emily is in her apartment trying to persuade him to commit to her before she leaves for Paris because she has just received a marriage proposal from another. Eventually he agrees to have made his decision by the time he picks her up for the ride to the airport. While on the phone with her, he flirts shamelessly with a beautiful girl. Afterward, he calls Margaret, his other lover, and asks her the same questions Emily asked him. Later a good friend warns Bill that Margaret has just split up with her husband and another counsels him that Margaret is poison. Utterly confused, Bill visits a public restroom and begins talking to himself. Much to his surprise, three bums, in Greek chorus fashion, advise him. A little freaked, Bill heads for a bar and finds Margaret's disconsolate husband who is drinking himself blind in preparation to shoot himself. The men talk and Bill is accidentally shot. Later he lies in a hospital dreaming of women. As he does, he finally realizes what he must do. The second variation is set in 1944 Berlin and retells the same story, using the same dialog, with homosexuals playing the major roles. The third tale is set in Tokyo, 1995 during the rehearsal of a butoh mime troupe. All wear heavy white make-up and billowy clothing. This variation is freer than the others, but the story remains much the same.
Comedy , Drama , Romance
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Bill Sage
as Bill
Dwight Ewell
as Dwight
Peter Fitz
as The Doctor
Elina Löwensohn
as The Nurse
Liana Pai
as Woman at Phone Booth
Maria Schrader
as Woman at Bar
Kumiko Ishizuka
as Naomi, Miho's Friend
Michael Imperioli
as Michael, Bill's Friend
Holt McCallany
as Bartender
Karen Sillas
as Dr. Clint
Lianna Pai
as Woman at Phone Booth
Hannah Sullivan
as Trish the Waitress
Harold Perrineau
as Men's Room Man No. 1
Lianna Pal
as [Uncredited]
Robert John Burke
as Men's Room Man No. 2
Harold Perriman
as [Uncredited]
Paul Austin
as Men's Room Man No. 3
Jose Zuniga
as Driver
Paul Schultze
as [Uncredited]
Patricia Scanlon
as Woman at Bar
Susanna Simon
as Elisabeth, Dwight's Friend
Boris Aljinovic
as Fashion Stylist
Jorg Biesler
as [Uncredited]
Nils Brück
as [Uncredited]
Hans Martin Stier
as Boris, Laborer No. 1
Jacob Klaffke
as [Uncredited]
Lars Rudolph
as Peter, Laborer No. 2
Jorg Biester
as Mike, Laborer No. 3
Gerhard Severin
as Mac the Bartender
Sabine Svoboda
as Barkeeper
Susie Bick
as Model
Amina Gusner
as Photographer
Stefan Kolosko
as Assistant
Jakob Klaffke
as Werner
Joy Kraft
as Greta's Daughter
Bano Dost
as Neighbor
Meikyoh Yamada
as Mochi the Policeman
Junji Iljima
as [Uncredited]
Mansaku Ikeuchi
as Tomo the Younger Policeman
Mansaku Ikouchi
as [Uncredited]
Eri Yu
as Kazuko, Jailbird No. 1
Yuri Aso
as Shoko, Jailbird No. 2
Natsumi Mitzuno
as [Uncredited]
Natsumi Mizuno
as Narumi, Jailbird No. 3
Masatoshi Nagaso
as [Uncredited]
Masatoshi Nagase
as Hal's Assistant
Totsuya Tahata
as [Uncredited]
Meikyo Yamada
as [Uncredited]
Morito Ikeda
as Dancer
Junji Iijima
as Dancer
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Critic Reviews for Flirt

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (2)

It is more amusing to talk about than to experience.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Hartley's three-part anthology, a semi-academic treatise about the limits of narrativity, offers some minor rewards.

Full Review… | June 7, 2011

Meanders from high wit to high numb and back again.

September 28, 2005

Delicious three-course meal on the complications of romantic love.

Full Review… | August 21, 2002
Spirituality and Practice

It calmly manages to pack in more complex emotions that most more histrionic films.

Full Review… | March 5, 2002

Quote not available.

August 13, 2004

Audience Reviews for Flirt

Gave it another look for the first time since the VHS days and I have to say that I still dig Hartley's deadpan characters quite a bit, even if it all does feel very much like a production and not anything one would naturally encounter out there in the real world. Worth a look, examining the death of a relationship from three different perspectives, genders and sexualities. Rental!

Bill Bryant
Bill Bryant

Not my favourite Hal Hartley, but interesting.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

Essentially a short movie told 3 times, set in different countries. The English version is great, a Hal Hartley classic. Unfortunately the "foreign" versions of the story were kind of lost on me, especially the Japanese one.

Gabriel Knight
Gabriel Knight

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