30 Days

2000, Movie, NR, 87 mins


The utterly amateurish feature film debut of actor-writer Aaron Harnick (son of veteran actress Barbara Barrie), this romantic comedy examines the love lives of four NYC friends who just can't get it together. Jordan Trainer (Ben Shenkman), who works in his father's liquor store, and perpetual student Mike (Alexander Chaplin) take turns complaining that they can't get dates. Brad (Thomas McCarthy) is living with Lauren (Catherine Kellner), while Tad (Bradley White) — who indulges his dreams of being a TV weatherman by hosting a lame public-access cable show — is dating Danielle (Lisa Edelstein) but shies away from commitment. Brad introduces Jordan to Lauren's friend Sarah (Arija Bareikis); Jordan and Sarah start dating, assuring themselves all the while that they're actually doing no such thing. Then Brad and Lauren announce their impending marriage (that's where the 30 days of the title come in) and Jordan and Sarah break up, making the round of pre-nuptial parties awkward for everyone. Harnick seems to be a great admirer of Woody Allen's particular brand of fidgety, neurotic romantic comedy, but his attempt to emulate it is, frankly, a disaster. Leaving aside the fact that Harnick's characters are all whining, self-absorbed, annoying pains in the ass (since this reaction to them may be a personal one), the story is so badly told that the simplest things are confusing. Is Brad Jordan's brother or just his friend? Do all the guys just hang out at Jordan's, or do some of them live there? How old are these young men supposed to be, and why are they friends, since they seem to have nothing in common? And most important, why should we waste time trying to figure these things out? leave a comment --Maitland McDonagh

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30 Days
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