Friday, February 03, 2006


There are no little secrets.

I saw an odd film tonight.... Match Point.

The film's website says, "Match Point is a drama about ambition and obsession, the seduction of wealth, and the often discordant relationship between love and sexual passion. Perhaps most importantly, however, the story reveals the huge part luck plays in the events of our lives, refuting the comforting misconception that more of life is under our control than really is."

Without any more spoilers than the trailer or the site provide, Chris is a poor Irish kid who becomes a professional tennis player. Good, but never really top seed. He quits the tour and comes to London after securing a job as the house pro at a very posh City tennis club. There he meets Tom-- very rich, slightly bored, and with all the right connections. The 2 become fast friends, and in a year of Brokeback Mountain, Capote, and Transamerica, you wonder if these 2 somewhat effete and handsome young men with a shared passion for opera are destined for an intimate partnership.... but, no... Tom introduces Chris to his younger sister, and then to his fiance Nola (a struggling American actress played by Scarlett Johanson) that's when things really start to get interesting.

Nola's clearly got some issues. Chris (played by Jonathan Rhys-Myers, the hunky girls soccer coach from Bend it like Beckham) has some too, but he's so cute and sincere-looking and likeable that he keeps his under wraps more successfully. The story was written by Woody Allen, so everyone's a bit more neurotic than they appear at first glance, but for once Allen has left behind his New York caricatures and has written about more subtle, complex, and somewhat darker characters. Mum probably drinks a little too much, Chloe should probably see a shrink about her self-esteem and control issues. Tom isn't quite as charming as he appears at first blush. Dad may be smart in business, but it's clear that he's more than a little henpecked.

As you walk out of the theater, you'll have to decide if the ending gratifies you, upsets you, depresses you, or just makes you shrug your shoulders and say, "So what else is new? No one ever said life is fair."

See it with a thoughtful and intelligent friend and leave time for coffee and deconstruction afterward. This is one of those films likely to leave a lot of folks shaking their heads. I'm not sure I enjoyed it, but it did make me think.

Here's the film's official site.

There are no little secrets.

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