Finding North | Chicago Reader

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A deepening friendship between opposites unexpectedly thrown together has been a Hollywood formula since at least as far back as It Happened One Night; director Tanya Wexler and screenwriter Kim Powers add a 90s twist, creating an unlikely romance between a kooky working-class woman and a dignified gay yuppie recovering from the death of his lover. The gay-straight device allows for some clever jokes about mistaken sexuality, gender roles, and the singles scene, but it also dissipates much of the sexual tension. The story becomes interesting only in the second half, when the couple travels from New York to a desolate Texas town on a scavenger hunt that the man?s lover designed as a way of revealing his past. Wexler, a former Chicagoan and the niece of cinematographer Haskell Wexler, approaches the story with the earnestness of a recent film school grad (which she is): switching between the two leads in the narrative, she simply crosscuts as if splicing different films. She's at her best overseeing the fine ensemble; it's no small feat jerking tears from the moment of silent grief shared by the man and his lover's aunt.

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