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PopEntertainment.com > Reviews > Movie Reviews > You Are Alone

MOVIE REVIEWS

YOU ARE ALONE (2005)

Starring Jessica Bohl, Richard Brundage, Keith Herron, Eric Deskin, Bruce Koken, Amy Brienes, James Ellsworth, Gail Herrendeen, Tate Ellington, Chester Jones III, John Watson, Michael Gilio and Frank Loftus.

Screenplay by Gorman Bechard.

Directed by Gorman Bechard.

Distributed by What Were They Thinking Films.  84 minutes.  Not Rated.

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You Are Alone

A man in his forties, who has become an alcoholic, a bit of a shut in and an emotional wreck in the years since losing his wife, is invited to a bachelor party.  While there, he is surprised to find out that the stripper who was hired to "entertain" the party is actually the teenaged daughter of his next-door neighbors.  Soon afterwards, he calls her and to meet him at a local hotel one which he used to frequent with his wife when they were just dating.  He opens the door to let her in where he has a bed, some alcohol and a whole lot of money.

From this setup, you may think you know where things are going in You Are Alone, but you will most likely be wrong. 

You Are Alone is not about the power or emotional blackmail that the man could hold over the girl.  Nor is it about the power of her youthful sexuality to hold him captive to his lusts and weaknesses.  Both of these are touched upon, of course, but the movie is much more interested in digging deeper into the psyches of its participants.

You Are Alone is not about sex, though the two leads do discuss that readily and with sometimes-disturbing frankness.  It's more of a tango.  The great majority of the film takes place in the room with only Buddy (Richard Brundage) and Daphne (Jessica Bohl) participating.  There are regular flashes backwards and forwards in time from this momentous meeting, but they are generally short and only illuminate what is going on in the hotel. 

No other characters really intrude on the storyline except for in how they have brought Buddy and Daphne to where they are in life.  Even his wife (they never let you know whether she died or left him until the very end) is only seen in sepia-toned romantic flashback which feel like vacation videos.  She seems more of symbol of his loneliness than a whole realistic character just as she would appear in his rose-colored recollections.

Buddy and Daphne sit around the room in various states of undress, however mostly what they do is talk.  They are obviously both for reasons of their own avoiding acting upon the reason that the have met.  He questions her about how she got involved in being an escort.  At first she is somewhat glib about the whole thing, but eventually the real reasons slowly come about.  She tries to find out what has happened to his life since losing his wife.

For all of this to work, you need to have good performances to carry it and Bohl is amazing bridging sexiness and innocence, seductiveness and shyness, sadness and ennui.  Brundage is extremely good as well, but his character is more obviously damaged to the point where it is hard to look at him in any other way therefore he is more of a one-note character.

You Are Alone is somewhat reminiscent of Atom Egoyan's wonderful psycho-drama Exotica also about an older man's relationship with a younger sex worker which turns out to be much more complex, layered and vital than it originally appeared.  You Are Alone is not quite the equal of that masterpiece (no big crime), but in certain ways it is superior.  It is more focused and disciplined and does not swerve off into as many unnecessary subplots.

When the two finally reach the intimate act for which they both came to the sordid room, it is much darker and more harrowing than you could possibly imagine.  (3/07)

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright 2007   PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: March 2, 2007.

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Copyright 2007   PopEntertainment.comAll rights reserved.  Posted: March 2, 2007.

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