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XX/XY

A wannabe moviemaker meets two Sarah Lawrence undergrads one night in 1993 and the three spend an oddly anticlimactic night in the sack. After that less than enchanted evening, things get truly hot, and then ice cold. Ten years later, they all reconnect in New York , New York and flirt with the idea of picking up where they left off.

CAST: Mark Ruffalo, Kathleen Robertson, Maya Stange, Petra Wright, David Thornton, Kel O'Neill

DIRECTOR: Austin Chick

"Essentially an aimless and uninteresting meditation on growing up, the film features a trio of disagreeable cellophane characters who begin as immature college students -- and, when we catch up with them a decade later, turn out to have changed little save their hairstyles… Ruffalo (‘You Can Count on Me’) plays one of the most irritating cinematic characters in recent memory: His Coles is a spineless, self-centered, slack-jawed jerk to whom the phrase ‘I dunno’ seems like a mantra…Ten minutes into the film, you just want him to go away." --Megan Lehmann, The New York Post

"Those who admired Mark Ruffalo's nuanced work as Laura Linney's jailbird brother in ‘You Can Count on Me’ have been waiting for a movie that would enable him to build on the promise of that performance. He gets the opportunity in Austin Chick's cunning debut feature, ‘XX/XY,’ although you have to sit tight for both Ruffalo and the movie around him to come into their own…Little in the film's first half prepares us for the acuity and wincingly funny observations of the second: You may think you're seeing two different movies, but ‘XX/XY’ is merely growing into the movie it wants to be…Ruffalo continues to be one of the most intriguing actors of his generation. He plays against the inherent theatricality of his lines and mines the humanity beneath the skin of a heel. You feel his pain, like it or not." --Jan Stuart, Newsday

"It's a measure of the actor's tousled charm that Mr. Ruffalo can make you empathize for even two seconds with the seething inner life of this whiny narcissist…After Mr. Ruffalo's Coles, Ms. Robertson's portrayal of a drug-taking, henna-haired college rebel dabbling defiantly in bisexuality is the movie's sharpest performance…If the movie has a message about relationships, it's the same one that hippies learned about free love in the late 60's and 70's, once the glow of communal idealism acquired a layer of mildew. For all but a few, that dreaded bourgeois bugaboo of sexual jealousy is so deeply hard-wired in the psyche it can't be unlearned." --Stephen Holden, The New York Times

"Though the first half of the film is as painfully self-conscious as its navel-gazing collegiate lovers, the story gets more interesting as the characters mature…An ongoing problem, however, is the complete lack of chemistry between the leads…Still, Ruffalo excels at playing lost souls and, ultimately, he succeeds in conveying the singular pain of adulthood: having to do the right thing even when it feels utterly wrong." --Elizabeth Weitzman, The New York Daily News

"It's an overly familiar setup played out by overly familiar types but, curiously, what invests ‘XX/XY’ with its tension is that there's no sense that Austin Chick, the film's capable young director and writer, knows what he feels about any of this…In love with 1970s film style but not 1970s grit, Chick never pushes his characters anyplace that's overly uncomfortable for either him or us…anyone who opens his first feature with a three-way sex scene, after all, knows how to sell his goods. That jive works wonders on college girls, but Chick needs to try harder if he wants to seduce the rest of us." --Manohla Dargis, The Los Angeles Times

"Austin Chick’s ‘XX/XY,’ from his own screenplay, reminded me at first of a particularly messy French sex farce, with more nudity and semi-nudity than the law once allowed…Mr. Ruffalo plays much the same character that Campbell Scott played in ‘Roger Dodger,’ but without the wit and misogyny. Maya Stange is a real find as Sam: She’s another magical creature from Australia." --Andrew Sarris, The New York Observer

"Chick may think that he's examining this age-old triangular conflict in a fresh, up-to-the-minute way. But when it's as easy to predict half the dialogue that comes out of anybody's mouth as it is watching ‘XX/XY,’ there obviously isn't much new and exciting being said here…Chick's most notable accomplishment is the creation of fairly complex characters whom he doesn't betray with audience-friendly personality qualities. But just writing someone who is lost and selfish is not the same thing as making them compellingly flawed…That said, ‘XX/XY’ is not a bad start for a filmmaker who obviously cares about what makes people tick." --Bob Strauss, The Los Angeles Daily News