Directed by: Ben Lewin
Written By: Ben Lewin based on an article written by Mark O’Brien
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 1 hr 35 Min
This is a really nice film, thoughtfully paced and extremely well acted. John Hawkes portrait of Mark O’Brien is pitch perfect. Helen Hunt is also extremely good in this film. You feel compassion for these characters as they explore themselves, and each other. First in a clinical manner as the sessions begin, and then again as things inevitability become more romantic.
This is a quiet, relaxed paced movie filled with likable characters you’ll like spending an hour and a half with. It’s funny, but also can tug at the heart strings.
Best viewing format:
It’s a very well made film, but this one doesn’t need the big audio and big visuals of a movie theater. Quite frankly, this one would be best enjoyed on DVD at home.
Best moment: << spoiler >>
After the fourth session, the couple decide to end their arrangement. Cheryl (Helen Hunt) is leaving and gets into her car, when suddenly Mark’s assistant runs up to her and hands over Cheryl’s final payment. Cheryl and Mark by this point have most definitely moved beyond the client, therapist relationship and Cheryl is clearly upset. Getting the payment suddenly reminds Cheryl of her first session with Mark. This sudden brutal reminder of her responsibilities in this arrangement is painful for Cheryl to process, and Helen Hunt does a great job to make sure you feel it too.