Saturday, October 6, 2012

The 24th Day

The 24th Day follows two men who meet at a bar. One follows the other home, ready for a night of fun, but the other has different ideas. James Marsden plays Dan, a confident movie executive. Scott Speedman is Tom, who is a cook. Directed by and based on a play by Tony Piccirillo, the script wavers between genuinely interesting and over-the-top, as the relationship between Dan and Tom is alternately believable and unrealistic.

The acting is not bad, but it is rather overshadowed by the soap-opera-level production values. Awkward editing, dramatic music, and cryptic flashbacks yank the viewer out of the genuinely tense apartment scenes. The most interesting aspect of the film is the interaction between Dan and Tom. Their characters bring up questions about class differences, honesty, guilt, and denial. And AIDS, and responsibility, and sexual orientation. Dan can be remarkably calm and sassy, while the sad Tom is so obviously unbalanced one wonders why Dan sticks around at first. While this is ultimately a rather poor movie, one has to admire it for trying.

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