TANGLED. Ben’s Sister Productions, 2001. Rachael Leigh Cook, Shawn Hatosy, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Estella Warren, Lorraine Bracco. Director: Jay Lowi.
There are a lot of gaps in my movie-watching career, and the period from the mid 1980s on to, well, practically now, is the largest one. I’m trying to fill in the gaps in that period, but the doing is going a lot slower than I’d like. There are just too movies from the 30s and 40s that are on my Want to See Next list, that films like this one just have to work their way in somehow.
Which is a roundabout way of saying I picked this one at random out a box in the basement that’s been there for at least four or five years, maybe even longer. I’m not sure why I bought it in the first place, but after watching it last night, I’m glad I did.
It wasn’t because of the actors in it, as I couldn’t have placed names with faces with any of them, except one, that one being Lorraine Bracco (of The Sopranos fame, but I saw her first in Medicine Man with Sean Connery). In any case, of the players in the three leading roles, I can tell you now that I was impressed.
Taking Rachael Leigh Cook first, she plays Jenny, the center of this romantic drama, a diminutive young girl with plenty of spirit and two suitors, sort of, but that’s the story. One of them is David (Shawn Hatosy), an almost baby-faced lad who’s known Cook longer, but theirs is a friendship only, platonic you might say, although you know from watching him that he’d like it to be more. The other is David’s former roommate, Alan (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers), who’s another free spirit, dashing, adventuresome, with dangerous-looking eyes, and everything David is not.
But even though sparks between Jenny and Alan are obviously immediately, the latter takes the time to ask the David if the way is clear, and David reluctantly says yes, although you know he’d like to say no. He even warns Jenny about Alan, telling her that falling for him would be a bad idea.
The story of this doomed three-way relationship is told in flashback by David to female detective Andersle (Lorraine Bracco), having been picked up by the police who have found the bodies of the other two in a secluded wooded area.
It’s been a while since my college days, both undergraduate and graduate, but I recognize pieces of each of the three major players in the students I knew back then, and the love affairs they had, the rivalries, the break-ups, and the getting back together again. Not a whole lot has changed, except nobody I knew back then ended up in a situation anything like this one. Not that I knew about, anyway.
In any case, it’s the skill of the actors that reminded me of my younger academic days more than any movie or book I’ve seen or read in quite a while. All three leads were convincing, and the next time I see a film that they’re in, I’ll be sure to take more than a quick glance at it.
One other thing. I’m sometimes annoyed when a film exists in the form of extended and sometimes overlapping flashbacks, but in this case, it was the only way it could have been done. I enjoyed this one.