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Review: Irene in Time

Some actors improv better than others
By MIKE MILIARD  |  December 9, 2009
1.5 1.5 Stars


Luckless in love, Irene (Tanna Frederick) wants to "find a guy like my daddy." Her father, she says (over and over and over), "was really magical." Truth be told, her absent dad doesn't seem like that great a guy. All the same, we follow Irene on date after date as she yammers on (and on) about him.

Henry Jaglom has been making indie movies for decades. He's a devotee of unadorned camerawork and semi-improvised dialogue — but some actors are better at improv than others. And though such vérité can make for affecting moments (Irene's poolside bitch session with similarly frustrated girlfriends), and Frederick's winsome openness can be likable (a disastrous date with an uptight architect), the film is marred by stilted dialogue and clumsy plot contrivances — which are as grating as its treacly (and too frequent) musical interludes.

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