Friday, August 10, 2012

Crashing (2007) [R] ***

Richard (Campbell Scott) is a handsome, graying novelist, whose bestselling first novel The Trouble with Dick (also the name of an earlier film by writer/director Gary Walkow) brought him fame and a beautiful actress wife with a Malibu beach home. But his first success is seven years old and he has a severe case of writer's block; his new novel gets worse with each successive draft. Looking for inspiration, Richard agrees to speak to a college writing class being taught by former girlfriend Diane (Alex Kingston), the same day his wife kicks him out of their house. Richard casually mentions to the class that he has nowhere to sleep that night, and two star-struck students offer him a couch in their small apartment.

Richard soon has plenty of raw material to start his creative juices flowing, simply from peeking into the private lives of the two foxy coeds, Kristin (Izabella MikoCoyote Ugly) and Jacqueline (Lizzy CaplanMean Girls). But the two girls have their own creative agendas; they are both aspiring writers, and instead of paying rent, they demand that Richard give them literary consultations that begin with writing and end up in bed. Soon all three are writing stories influenced by their romantic couplings, fantasies, suspicions and anxieties. Jacqueline's muse is Jacqueline Susann, while Kristin is more lyrical, metaphorical and poetic. Happily Richard finds his inner rhythm again in more than one way, as their menage-a-trois becomes the inspiration for his next novel. While production values are mediocre, this engaging, independent film uses a light, breezy tone and excellent performances from Scott, Miko and Caplan to deliver an amusing, if somewhat predictable story. Scott perfectly conveys both the strength of insight and the weakness of imagination that caused Richard's writer's block, while Caplan and Miko hold their own in the literary and suggestive conversations with their older, wiser, and very willing teacher. 

Label: college, drama, romance 

Internet Movie Database 
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=NA, viewers=50)

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