American Playhouse - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

American Playhouse Reviews

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½ August 4, 2014
I liked everything that didn't involve Mary Ward, who is terrible.
½ December 23, 2012
""Listen pal, you can't waltz in here... use my toaster... and start spouting universal truths without qualification!"
½ October 9, 2011
One of Hartley's early movies and is one of his best.
½ June 4, 2011
hal hartley's quirky take on the man/woman thing.
½ October 14, 2010
I really like the cafe scene when Martin Donovan's character knocks over the table. It is really insightful about relationships, communication, and suffering. Yep.
August 4, 2010
Hal Hartley is such a fascinating filmmaker. It's funny because everytime I start to watch one of his films, they come off as almost abrasive but usually about 20 minutes into the film, I remember that Harley really is a genius and one of the most fascinating contemporary american filmmakers. I think it has to do with the fact that all of his films are a sort of Hyper-Reality. Surviving Desire is one of his most philosophical films but goodamn the script is just amazing. Richard Linklater wishes he could write dialogue like Hartley. I really love Martin Donovan in all of his collaborations with Hartley, but there is something about his character, the collerge professor, who is "surviving desire" which is just great. This film is poetry; its eloquent and beautiful.
½ August 1, 2010
Pretentious & awkward. Something seem more workable at theatre rather than in silver screen. As simple as that.
½ June 4, 2010
It made me want to be completely honest all the time. That's the positive. On the negative side, it is poorly acted, comes off really pretentious a majority of the time, and looks really crappy. But... It made me want to be completely honest all of the time.
May 17, 2010
Great philosophical dialogue enhance the complex storylines here. Existential and poetic.
April 11, 2010
A beautiful shortish film by Hal Hartley, with free structure letting the viewer to express or feel where the conversations are going. Lovely.
April 10, 2010
Another great Hal Hartley flick.
½ July 29, 2009
A campus love story, Hartleian and a little Hartlesque in essence.
½ June 21, 2008
This is the first Hal Hartley film I've seen and I guessi need to get useto his filmmaking stye (that is, if all his films are like this). This short film (well, it's 60 minutes long) is about a professor who falls for one of his students and they start a relationship together. This really seemed like a play being filmed, with long conversations that don't seem like would take place in the real world, or at least sound so intellectual. I liked the professor's friend, his character was amusing and the side story with him and the woman who wants to get married was entertaining. But I wasn't extremely interested in the main story. I'll have to watch a couple of Hartley's other films to see what kind of filmmaker he is. Oh, and the band in the middle of the film was pretty good.
½ April 15, 2008
"I believe you are sincere and good at heart."

Absolutely stunning. This is a film of undeniable eloquence. At only sixty minutes, it may be relatively short but it doesn't feel like any less of a significant work. Hartley simply ended the film where it needed to end, without concern for standard production guidelines. If only more filmmakers were willing to disregard all preconceived notions of the average marketable length. Maybe we would get more films with such subtle poetic beauty as this.
January 19, 2008
delightful. i've watched this over and over again throughought the last ten years. love the dance sequence. if you're not used to very stylized 'acting' it can be a bit grating so beware
½ January 13, 2008
I am trying to decide whether deadpan philosophizing is for a teenage audience. I used to love his movies in the 90s...I'm getting less receptive. Still I enjoyed the humor.
½ January 7, 2008
um, Martin Donovan is very cute and annoying in this movie. the dialogue is so good, though, and Sofie in the bookstore. I like the bartender's line.
January 1, 2008
truly indie filmmaking at it's best. surreal, but not pretentious. smart, but also funny. if you want to watch a movie, and then talk about it all night with intelligent people, rent this, smoke a joint, bust open some wine, and see what you get out of it... or watch jerry maguire if you're a friggin' jerkoff.
½ December 20, 2007
A film that's still got the sliver of the eighties on its tongue, watching Surviving Desire in 2007 feels like being transported into another dimension where staged acting rules along with unrealistically wry humour. Also, only an hour long, it's remarkably economical even in its saturated state of black comedy.
October 26, 2007
I learned to Love indedepent Art Film because of this one.
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