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[Short Reviews]


Capitalizing on the success of his 1998 short " Jorge, " first-time feature director Joel Hopkins expands his ideas in this romantic comedy. George (Tunde Adebimpe), an introverted office worker hiding behind nerdy glasses and an ill-fitting suit, must choose between his impending arranged marriage to Sophie (Abiola Wendy Abrams), a childhood friend from Nigeria, and his feelings for Alicia (Natalia Verbeke), a coy Spanish stranger he meets in an airport when he goes to pick up his fiancée. He’s gotten the date of Sophie’s arrival wrong, so she’s not there, and he winds up driving to the wedding, in Buffalo, with his new friend Gérard (Hippolyte Girardot), an archetypal French romantic with a pristine Citroën DS who tries to persuade George to follow his heart. When they chance upon Alicia and her priggish English boyfriend, Nathan (James Wilby), hitchhiking, George and Gérard must re-evaluate their lovelorn ways.

Hopkins’s reliance on the style and music reminiscent of 1960s French comedies invokes a feeling of delightful kitsch rather than cinematic ingenuity. But a talented cast of unknowns — especially Adebimpe — adds panache to an otherwise loosely constructed debut.

By Julia Cohen

Issue Date: July 26- August 2, 2001