Hale Bopp | Chicago Reader

Hale Bopp

Writer-director Chris Rubeo's debut feature is the latest in a spate of local indie digital films about tangled relationships among Wicker Park hipsters. This one is better looking and less incoherent than most, and it has a riveting, believable female lead. The willful, promiscuous Rachel (Andrea Mustain) loves to party, but she also juggles waitressing and volunteering at a hospital taking photos of disturbed children. When she meets an architect who's new in town (Brad Eric Johnson) she realizes that love may come only once in a lifetime, like the comet Hale-Bopp. Rubeo throws in complications—mostly stock tricks from girl-meets-boy movies: boy mistakes her rapport with her male best friend, girl resents boy's possessiveness—but they don't create any real tension. As the film ambles toward its inevitable happy ending, we do get some smartly nonchalant dialogue, crisp location shots, and sharp performances from Mustain and John Jordan as her secret admirer. 93 min.

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