Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Purple Violets (2007) [UR] ***

Patti (Selma Blair) is a brilliant writer who hasn't published in ten years, is selling real estate to try to make some money, and is stuck in a failed marriage to Chazz (Donal Logue) a chef who doesn't have a literary bone in his body. Kate (Debra Messing) is a school teacher who, years earlier, dumped her boyfriend Murphy (Edward Burns) now a successful attorney, because she thought he had cheated on her. And Brian (Patrick Wilson), Murphy's best friend and Patti's old college boyfriend, is a wildly successful pulp-fiction crime novelist who is trying his hand at writing serious literature.

One evening, twelve years after college, Patti and Kate are having dinner together, when who should come into the restaurant but Murphy, Brian, and Brian's current girlfriend, twenty-something, loud and abrasive Bernadette (Elizabeth Reaser). This accidental meeting is the catalyst for Patti to realize that she's always loved Brian, and she's got to get out of her dead-end marriage; and for Murphy to realize that he's always loved Kate and he's got to try to get her back.

This finely-crafted, romantic drama successfully weaves the joy and anticipation of two growing relationships with the frustration and heartache of two disintegrating relationships. Edward Burns' screenplay is taut and smoothly-paced, with internally-consistent characters and believable dialogue. The cast does an excellent job, especially Selma Blair and Patrick Wilson as two writers who each doubt their own talent, and who are afraid to reach out for love. If you enjoy Edward Burns' films, especially She’s the One, Sidewalks of New York, and Life or Something Like It, and if you enjoyed Bed of Roses, I predict you will really enjoy Purple Violets

Labels: comedy, drama, romance

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