Excellent debut in style of Hartley or Labute

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 4

Product:

XX – XY

OPENS OCTOBER 24, CERT 15, 91 MINS

A frank, impressive relationships drama, taking as its role models ’70s titans like Carnal Knowledge, writer/director Austin Chick’s debut was a jury favourite at Sundance. We’ll hear more of him. Just as Neil Labute appears to have gone soft, Chick wants to probe into the dark, mysterious crevasses of sex and love. A tremendous cast bravely take the journey with him.

In a Manhattan college in the early ’90s, bad boy Coles (Mark Ruffalo, also seen in this month’s In The Cut) meets Sam (Maya Stange) and Thea (Kathleen Robertson). They party, but a threesome proves awkward. Coles and Sam become a couple, but the reckless Thea, and young lust, upset the equation. We fast-forward a decade, and Coles is married, frustrated. Sam comes back into his life. Coles can’t help but want her: but is it her he craves, or what she symbolises to him?irresponsibility, freedom? His wife, no fool, is the story’s heroine.

As shorn of clich