Ever watch a film and can't shake the feeling that it might make a better play? It’s not just clever thinking – if you sense it’s from a play it usually is. Case in point the very heady without much movement dramatic film "Four," a slow story of two separate and unlikely couples that seems to go nowhere. Dim dialogue, terrible staging and pauses galore – not exactly a cinema lover’s dream.
June and Joe. Abigayle and Dexter. Two couples, the first a struggling with his sexuality teenage boy and a middle-aged older man, the second a young African-American girl and a Hispanic boy. All are seeking to escape loneliness from their lives and try to find solace in one another any way they can.
That’s the general jest of "Four," although there is a ton of mindless minutiae within. There’s incessant talk of sex, family, preferences, and the past in cars, rooms and...cars again. "Four" is stagnate because it runs in a full dreary dramatic circle – meaning there’s no beginning middle or satisfying end for both story and character emotion. For a play that may be a riveting night on the town, but for the cinefile looking to be moved by the plights of those on the screen it’s movie death. Not to mention that as a viewer, I frankly didn't empathize or even care about any of the four unmemorable lead characters. June comes off like a pouting rich kid, Joe like a creepy pedophile, Abigayle is a one-note drama queen and Dexter is a hapless victim of an inflated ego – none elicit empathy even by accident.
I know it seems a tad harsh and again maybe as a play, "Four" dramatically brings down the house. But the conventions and flair that make a theatrical stage production sizzle don’t always translate to the screen. As a movie, "Four" has way too much to say and not nearly enough to show.
Cast: Wendell Pierce, Emory Cohen, Aja Naomi King
Director: Joshua Sanchez
Running Time: 76 Minutes
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