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Chris Messina and Marin Ireland get up close and personal in this erotic Sundance hit....
Oscilloscope / 82 Minutes / 2012 / Unrated / Street Date: February 12, 2013
It starts very early and continues throughout: there's a whole lotta bangin' in 28 Hotel Rooms. This Matt Ross drama isn’t distinctly interested in the dissection of romance or how two young people learn to appreciate the nuances of each others’ psyches – it’s about the fast and furious connection that intimacy can provide and the looming question of whether a pair of folks can evolve beyond that or if it’s just better to succumb to the pleasures of the flesh and call a spade a spade.
Chris Messina plays a novelist; Marin Ireland plays a high-profile accountant. Over the series of a couple dozen vignettes –as the film’s title hints – we watch them come together and split apart with ever-complicating sets of variation. Ireland’s career starts to take off while Messina’s plunders: this affects their bedroom antics. Messina leaving his girlfriend in hopes of taking the next step with Ireland while she seems perfectly happy keeping Messina as her dude on the side: this affects their bedroom antics.
But at the end of the day, it all comes back to the antics, and Messina and Ireland make a dynamite on-screen couple. Matt Ross’ script doesn’t give them all that much wiggle room – some of the movie’s under-the-covers post-coital chit-chat is positively grating – but even if 28 Hotel Rooms is just a series of snapshots of a couple existing on the fringe of normal western society, every once in a while, the thrill they feel in each others’ arms connects with those of us watching them get it on from the comfort of our couches. Its overall narrative is sadly thin, but its erotic rhetoric is frequently titillating.