Sunday, December 5, 2010

Little City (1998) [R] ****

San Francisco's a great little city, as long as you don't mind running into the same six people over and over again. As Kevin (Jon Bon Jovi) describes it, it's a cheap place to live, and it tolerates lack of initiative. Kevin's a bartender at the San Remo Bar. He's gone through all the locally available women, so he's talked his boss into hiring Rebecca (Penelope Ann Miller) who's new in town and needs a job.

Kevin's friend Adam (Josh Charles) is a cabdriver and an artist, with a live-in girlfriend, Nina (Annabella Sciorra) who's a chef at the Little City Restaurant. Sadly, Adam has never gotten over his old girlfriend Kate (Joanna Going), and his lack of passion for Nina has driven her into Kevin's arms. They both hate the lying and sneaking around, but they can't stay away from each other

Adam's mistake with Kate was that he encouraged her to have a three-way with Anne (JoBeth Williams), who teaches painting at the Art Institute. Anne's a lesbian, and her hobby is corrupting pretty, bi-curious, straight girls, and then moving on. Adam and Kate both knew Anne was a lesbian; Adam just didn't think Kate would be so into the experience, or that she would fall in love with Anne. And Kate didn't know that Anne wasn't in it for the long haul, and would reject her once she got clingy.

With all the relationships in pieces, by coincidence, Adam picks up Rebecca as a cab fare, and recognizes her from the San Remo. And, then, Kevin realizes how much he loves Nina, and Kate decides she wants to have a baby with Adam. And so both Kevin and Adam have decisions to make. This is an excellent character-driven, conversation-rich, ensemble romantic comedy drama. The situations these people find themselves in are all too real, all too familiar. The casting is terrific, there's great romantic chemistry among the leads, and beautiful San Francisco landscapes. If you've enjoyed recent films like Definitely, Maybe; Feast of Love; He's Just Not That Into You or Purple Violets, you might enjoy Little City.

Labels: comedy, lesbian, romance     
Internet Movie Database
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=NA, viewers=68)

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