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Marguerite Moreau in Easy


cast: Marguerite Moreau, Brian F. O'Byrne, Naveen Andrews, Emily Deschanel, and Caroline Goodall

writer and director: Jane Weinstock

94 minutes (15) 2003
widescreen ratio 16:9
Prism Leisure / Odyssey Quest
DVD Region 2 rental / retail

RATING: 7/10
reviewed by Emily Webb
I'm a big fan of romantic comedies (even if they're bad... except Raising Helen, which really was bad), and Easy is a great indie rom-com that premiered at Sundance in 2004. Shot on digital video by first-time director Jane Weinstock, Easy follows the romantic misadventures of Jamie, a twenty-something in L.A. Played by bewitching up-and-comer Marguerite Moreau; Jamie is unlucky in love - a self-confessed 'jerk-magnet'. She is a 'namer', giving monikers to all sorts of products from nappies to household appliances and this, conveniently, is a job she does from home, allowing her to wallow in her singleness and bad luck with men.

Like all rom-coms, close family and a tight-knit circle of friends who encourage her in her quest for love whilst quietly disapproving of her disastrous relationships surround Jamie. "What did I do wrong with you girls," exclaims her father on the news that yet again, one of Jamie's relationships has ended and his other daughter's (Emily Deschanel) husband has impregnated another woman. The romantic tension in Easy comes from a love triangle involving poet John (Naveen Andrews) and comedian Mick (Brian F. O'Byrne), two seemingly decent men. Therein lies the dilemma for Jaime; it's easy to deal with losers but why is making the right choice between these two men so hard?

The film does lose realism as it progresses and descends into farce, which detracts from the quirkiness that makes it so appealing at the start. Esteemed British actress Caroline Goodall (Schindler's List) interestingly features in Easy as Zandra Rhodesque-looking television producer Sandy (complete with broad Aussie accent that she can thank her Australian born parents for helping her perfect) who used to be married to Mick who is in love with Jamie who thinks she is still in love with John...

Marguerite Moreau is a beautiful actress and it is hard to believe that she would ever be dumped (possibly a less gorgeous lead would have been more effective). I wouldn't be surprised if she becomes well known in the vein of Parker Posey and Maggie Gyllenhaal. The use of digital video gives the film a raw feel that is suitable for its L.A. setting (Weinstock used DV to cut down costs; she mortgaged her house to make this film). Interestingly, Moreau said in an interview with SagIndie (the Screen Actors Guild for independent film workers) that many people tried to discourage her from doing Easy due to its numerous nude scenes and that fact that Weinstock was a first-time filmmaker.

Easy works. It is an enjoyable view that doesn't descend into sloppy storytelling like many romantic comedies do. DVD extras include deleted scenes, notes on the film's background, and star biographies.

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