Mark Ruffalo, Kathleen Robertson, Maya Stange, Petra Wright, David Thornton, Kel O'Neill
Austin Chick, Mitchell B. Robbins, Isen Robbins, Aimee Schoof, Susan Welsh, Uta Briesewitz, William A. Anderson, Pete Beaudreau
The relationship between the sexes is, has been, and probably always will be cinema's principal commodity. But finding a fresh approach to this subject often seems well beyond the grasp of most independent filmmakers. Thus the discovery of a film as vital, perceptive, and simply enjoyable as XX/XY is a pleasure and, perhaps, a bit of a surprise in a world customarily comprised of generic romantic comedies and over-wrought melodramas.
Writer/director Austin Chick draws upon our familiarity with the usual suspects in shaping a tale about a trio composed of young artist, Coles, and two Sara Lawrence undergrads, Sam and Thea, who, on the night they meet, tread briefly on the wild side of sexual lust and drunken experimentation. As friends alternately couples and/or lovers, the three carry on a relationship that ends dramatically. Quite by accident, the relationship is reborn a decade later, and passionate desires are significantly reopened.
As a chronicle of youthful attraction and bonds that never really disappear, XX/XY is marvelously written and bitingly honest. And a perfectly cast troupe, led by the once again superbly Mark Ruffalo, as well as his partners in passion, Maya Strange and Kathleen Robertson, are incredibly effective and telling screen presences. But the true power of this feature is in the remarkable difference between men and women that Chick so perfectly illustrates and dramatizes. Assured and accomplished directing debuts that also penetrate our inner soul and longing are, without question, rare. Maybe this will also inspire.