Saturday, January 30, 2021

Looking - The Movie

Movie Name: Looking
Year of Release: 2016
Directors: Andrew Haigh
Stars: Jonathan Groff, Murray Bartlett, Frankie J. Alvarez, Lauren Weedman, Russell Tovey, Raul Castillo, O-T Fagbenle, Daniel Franzese, Bashir Salahuddin, Chris Perfetti, Michael Hsu Rosen, Derek Phillips, Tyne Daly, Jennifer Foster, Christopher Michael Holley, Cleve Jones, Suilma Rodriguez
Genre: Drama, Romance, Comedy
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7
View Trailer

Synopsis and Review:
After HBO cancelled the show, and left the fate of its characters up in the air, the creators had an opportunity to revisit the characters and the microcosms of "Looking" for a feature. The film finds Patrick returning to San Francisco, following the events that took place at the end of season 2. He has been living in Denver, and returns for Agustin's wedding to Eddie. Upon his return he is reunited with his best friends, with Dom thriving in his business, yet fearful of opening himself to a possible relationship. Agustin is, as usual, having all sorts of fears, with his tendency of sabotaging his endeavors looming large, particularly as he now has an opportunity to be truly happy. Patrick seizes the opportunity to reconnect with Richie, who is still involved with Brady. While in San Francisco Patrick also decides to reach out to Kevin, in the hopes of closing that chapter and possibly salvage a friendship, but after a candid discussion with him, comes to terms with a series of realizations, and a possible job offer. As the wedding is about to take place, Patrick starts realizing that running away from problems doesn't solve anything, and that San Francisco, his friends, Richie, and all he apparently left behind, is possibly where is heart truly belongs.
"Looking - The Movie" is a fitting epilogue to the lives of these characters and their challenges. It's very much a fitting way to send them off, having witnessed how they matured and became more aware of who they actually are. The film has much of the traits that have made Andrew Haigh such an acclaimed director, namely being able to capture brief and intimate moments between characters, making those situations feel real and authentic. In the film, Patrick, the catalyst for the "Looking" narrative, who basically left the city in order to avoid confrontation, emotional turmoil and the responsibilities of handling a challenging relationship, returns to the city which in a way, is almost the 4 main friend to this group. His return doesn't work as a manicured trimming of narrative threads: it mostly emphasizes the growth those characters are still experiencing, and how these friendships inform and nurture who these characters actually are. It's a film that once again captures the warmth, humor, and complicity between this group of characters. Jonathan Groff, Murray Bartlett, Lauren Weedman, Russell Tovey, Daniel Franzese and Tyle Daly, all create memorable characters, and provide heart and humor to the narrative. Much like the show, it's a feature well worth watching, from a wonderful writer/director.